‘Radical’ Change Leads to Salsarita’s Growth, FGC Speaker Says
Salsarita's has a new store design, as described by Phil Friedman, CEO, at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.
Phil Friedman bought Salsarita’s in 2011, and for a while operated it just as it was. But about four years ago he decided a complete overhaul was in order. “I thought it needed a radical change,” he told the audience at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.
He brought in a new operations team, including Ken Green, president and COO. He hired a designer for a complete new look. He overhauled the food and began to add drive-thru, and the result is a 46 percent increase in restaurants open since 2013, and systemwide sales rising from $44.1 million five years ago to $64.4 million today.
Notably, under the new operations team, profitability has improved by 5 percent, he said.
Friedman calls it the “new Salsarita’s,” and one key driving his decisions as CEO is that he’s also a franchisee and opens corporate stores, so “I’m doubling down on Salsarita’s.”
For the new design, “we tried to make Salsarita’s much fresher, much more appealing. We focused on the food first,” he said.
“We do a lot of fresh food and she wanted to make the restaurants look clean and crisp. For those who do a remodel with a designer, I let them go crazy with it, and she went crazy,” he said about his designer, “and since then we’ve gotten about $100,000 out of the cost” of the remodel.
The Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference continues through Wednesday noon at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas, featuring a full slate of C-level executives presenting their brands’ growth stories.