There is only one Royal Castle Restaurant left from the Miami chain. It’s located at 2700 NW 79th Street and still open 24 hours a day. Royal Castle was founded by William Singer in 1938 way before Burger King opened up its first Miami outpost in 1954. It was the original Miami Burger Chain.
In April of 1967 Royal Castle announced during its quarterly report to Stockholders:
“The opening of a new type of quick service restaurant that will be more fully automated then the present kind, with more self-service by the customer.”
A few months later in July of 1967 an ad appeared in the Miami News looking for “Restaurant Personal” and Managers for future locations. The address for this location was *599 NE 167th Street in North Miami Beach, it’s now a Taco Bell (and before that it was a Chicken Unlimited).
The Miami Times and The Miami News both ran stories about the opening of Royal Carousel in August of 1967. It was touted as the first Electronic Restaurant in the Southeast. The idea was that you come in, place your order at a Master Console (as the Miami Times called it) and then it would be cooked and packaged by the Royal Carousel machinery.
The food deviated from the Royal Castle menu with items like French Fried Shrimp, Specially Breaded Chicken, & Hush Puppies. It is most interesting that they served a “Charbroied Super Double Hamburger with Special Sauce” since Royal Castle cooked their Sliders on a flat top.
Also, there is a mention of the air conditioned dining room which was not the norm for fast food in that era.
I can not find any evidence to support how long Royal Carousel lasted. Unfortunately it seemed like a great idea that didn’t pan out.
You can find a picture of the Royal Carousel right across from this interactive.
*Thanks to Phillip Pessar for tracking down the address in the 1968 Polks Directory