In 1976 Johnson Kam and Eddie Flores, Jr., both budding entrepreneurs, purchased the L&L Drive-Inn® on Liliha Street in Honolulu, Hawaii. Times were tough during the early years but Kam and Flores persevered with their work ethic and optimism.
The founders of the L&L Drive-Inn® decided to franchise and expand their operation in 1988. They were among the first to build a reputation of serving fresh plate lunches, in generous portions, and low prices across Hawaii with their very successful chain of L&L Drive-Inn® restaurants.
In late 1999, Kam and Flores introduced their L&L brand of plate lunches to the mainland in California. Anticipating the unfamiliarity of the plate lunch to the mainland, Flores brilliantly repackaged it as “L&L Hawaiian Barbecue®”. Why Hawaiian Barbecue(SM)? Flores explains, “When we went to the mainland, the name ‘Hawaiian’ is a draw, because everyone just fantasized, everyone wants to come to Hawaii”.