Cody’s Owner Looks to Leverage Strong Reputation at Home
Shane Morrison’s eye is fixed firmly on growth for the three restaurant brands he operates, which he said all have the right operations, culture and concept positioning to outperform the competition.
While others in the casual dining segment continue to deal with sluggish sales, “Cody’s bucked that trend,” said Morrison, and has had at least seven years of consistent comp store sales increases.
“Cody’s” is Cody’s Original Roadhouse, the Florida-based restaurant company Morrison added to his Morrison Companies restaurant portfolio in 2014, joining Santa Fe Cattle Co. and Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, of which he’s a multi-unit franchisee.
“I grew to love restaurants and had the goal and desire to grow into a larger regional player,” said Morrison of expanding beyond real estate and movie theater development with his Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company.
Steakhouse chain Santa Fe Cattle Co. was his first acquisition in 2009. Its 16 locations in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are company-owned, but Morrison said he’s in the process of re-franchising the restaurants with eight of his most successful operators. Cody’s 16 restaurants, meanwhile, are 100 percent franchised and, Morrison stressed, are “strategically positioned” within the steakhouse and casual dining segments to grow in Florida and elsewhere in the southeast.
With a “truly diverse menu,” a Cody’s customer could visit 20 days in a month and have a completely different dining experience each time, said Morrison. Value, quality and affordability are pillars of the brand, and franchisees are engaged in their communities, things Morrison said are key to expanding the system. The brand has a strong reputation in Florida, and in addition to signing franchisee deals Morrison also plans to open company restaurants in new markets over the next 12 to 18 months.
You can read more about Cody’s—plus three other emerging casual brands—as we take a look at the casual dining segment in the August issue of Franchise Times.