Fast food super fan visiting all 64 UK Wimpy restaurants on burger tour

The world's biggest Wimpy fan is on a mission to visit all 64 of the chain's UK eateries as part of an epic 2,400 mile tour - in just 31 days.

Leeds local Anthony Zupnik, 36, has had a lifelong obsession with the old-school burger joints, having fallen in love with them as a child. He reckons he may have consumed up to 1,000 Wimpy meals in his lifetime and typically orders the same dish of a burger with ketchup and onions and a side of fries.

In one day alone, he visited five different branches of Wimpy as part of a supersized charity mission to eat at all their outlets across England and Scotland during July. Software developer Anthony said: "I've been a huge fan of Wimpy basically since birth... This tour is the proof, but I think I have been Wimpy's biggest fan for years."

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"Every owner is enthusiastic about the brand, and they give you the time of day, and that's what you don't get at other fast food brands - you get no personalisation."

"Since I was a kid I've always had a hamburger with ketchup and onions. I've upgraded my burger size to a quarter-pounder... but the order is exactly the same."

"That whole ritual I have is very enjoyable and satisfying.["

Anthony's passion for the chain was sparked by his godmother who ran its branch in Littlehampton, West Sussex, during the 70s and 80s where he grew up.

He has a particular fondness for the familiar flavours of the chain, which was established in 1934 in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, and appreciates the fact that diners can eat with a knife and fork.

Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the young age of 22 in 2010 and subsequently received treatment at a unit run by the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Having overcome his health scare and completed a degree in physics, he now hopes to raise funds for the charity through his love for Wimpy restaurants.

He explained: "]I had this idea for a while that I'd like to go and visit all the Wimpies in the country, but it seemed very gratuitous to do it without a reason. So I decided I could marry up this dream I've always had with a fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust."

Anthony's love for the chain came from his godmother who ran its branch in Littlehampton, West Sussex, during the 70s and 80s where he grew up.

And he particularly admires the familiarity of its flavours and how diners can eat with a knife and fork at the chain, founded in 1934 in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

But sadly, in 2010, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer aged just 22 and was later treated at a unit run by the charity the Teenage Cancer Trust.

After coming through the health scare and completing a degree in physics, he now hopes to raise money for the charity his fondness for Wimpy restaurants.

He added: "To this day, I try to eat at Wimpy as often as I can, something which I am well known for amongst my friends and family. I enjoy the satisfaction of their familiarity, tasty food options, and the civilised manner of eating with a knife and fork."

Anthony kicked off his journey on July 1 at his local Wimpy in Huddersfield.

His plans include travelling as far north as Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire and as far south as Swanage, Dorset, in his quest to sample food at all 64 restaurants.

However, it's not an eating challenge and on many visits, he'll just be having a drink or light meal.

But, having always ordered the same meal at Wimpy, he is planning to broaden his horizons on the tour by trying other items.

He shared: "As part of my quest, I'll try everything I possibly can on the menu to find out once and for all if my simple order is the bee's knees."

"But when I go to a Wimpy, I also like people to know what my order is. It's like when you go to a pub and the owner knows what your 'usual' is."

"I like that feeling you get, and that's what I've experienced so far during the tour."

Anthony is excited about meeting Wimpy owners, staff and fellow enthusiasts while sharing their stories via his website and social media.

He continued: "People like to post on Instagram about all these luxurious places that they've been to, and I just like to post my pictures of me going to Wimpy.["

One of Anthony's favourite Wimpy restaurants so far has been the chain's outlet in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

He expressed: "]The manager there had heard about me on the radio. She knew I was coming and she was very enthusiastic. The staff donated. We just had a great time."

Anthony was studying at Leeds University when he received his cancer diagnosis.

After receiving support from Teenage Cancer Trust, he continued with his studies, and was awarded a 2:1, which he says, 'felt like the greatest achievement of all time'.

He recalled his time on their unit: "I often found it pretty hard to sleep, I was often up very late, and needed to be completely exhausted before I could get any sleep."

"Thankfully, the lounge area on the unit was open all hours and I spent my time watching TV."

"One of the first times I did this, one of the nurses, Fiona, came to sit with me and kept me company."

"The nurses would often do this when they could, and to have company when I would have otherwise been lonely was greatly appreciated."

"It's a shame I never really got to show the level of gratitude I have for the nurses as they made me feel so special."

Anthony also received help and support from Carrie, one of the charity's youth support coordinators before and after treatment.

She arranged for him to attend one of the charity's peer support events, which he described as 'life changing'.

Anthony added: "I became a bit of a recluse during treatment, and somehow felt ashamed of my diagnosis, and found it very difficult to talk to anyone about it."

"To be around people who had gone through similar experiences made it much easier."

"In a way I miss those days. I was made to feel so valued in those times, and that my life was important."

"And I think I needed it. Without this support I could easily have become a much more bitter and jaded person."

"Instead, I look back to those times and remember the good times, and rarely the bad."

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/wimpytour to sponsor Anthony's Wimpy tour fundraiser.