Record Year of Franchise Growth for Huddle House
Part of Huddle House's Evolution redesign initiative includes creating "Huddle Booths" in its restaurants.
“My role is definitely to help us grow the brand,” Christina Chambers, senior VP of franchise development for Huddle House, told Franchise Times’ Beth Ewen last year at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference. “Increase our unit count and support our franchise owners who would like to grow their portfolios.”
With the casual dining chain’s recent announcement that it added 36 new locations to the map in fiscal year 2017—a record year of franchise expansion for the brand—and that more than a third of those came from current franchisees, Huddle House is reaching those goals.
“The past year has been an incredible milestone for Huddle House,” said Chambers. “We’ve proven ourselves to be a winning concept on several levels—for our guests, the communities we serve and our franchise partners. This was a record-breaking year for our brand and we look forward to continuing that pace in the year to come as we welcome more entrepreneurs and communities into the Huddle House family.”
Huddle House entered new markets across 14 states, including the brand’s first Maryland location and additional growth in New Jersey, where the all-day breakfast concept has one store open and five more in development. Eight of its multi-unit owners signed additional agreements in fiscal year 2017 to open 22 more locations. There are now 401 locations open or in development.
The company also attributes its recent growth to additional support in the form of a new real estate department with full site selection assistance and an in-house supply distribution model that promotes favorable unit-level economics for each of the locations.
The brand is also continuing its Evolution redesign initiative, which as Chambers described it to Ewen is about “taking a brand that was 52 years old and making it new again.” The remodel includes a new building design, contemporary furniture, LED lighting and updated menu offerings, and the company said refreshed locations are outperforming the previous store design by “a staggering 31.5 percent higher sales.” Huddle House has remodeled 53 percent of its stores and is on track to revamp 63 percent of current stores by the end of calendar year 2017.