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(Ambrosio’s note: If you’re unfamiliar, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is a 220-unit franchise of family sports pubs/restaurants best known for their chicken wings and their commitment to community outreach. Each Beef ‘O’ Brady’s features large screen TVs and interactive video games for children. Their family-friendly menu consists of Buffalo wings, hand-breaded chicken tenders, salads, a variety of sandwiches and mix-and-match desserts.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is looking for franchise owners who share their love for sports and community outreach. Since the company’s inception, each Beef ‘O’ Brady’s has been committed to strengthening local ties through philanthropic partnerships and volunteerism.
The brand recently introduced a new restaurant prototype and a menu overhaul. Moreover, sales are the strongest they have been in years. This is a great time to learn more about this franchise opportunity and I thank Chris Elliott, CEO of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, for taking the time to share with us what’s so special about this franchise.)
1. What made you decide to join Beef ‘O’ Brady’s as its CEO?
Beef’s is a strong brand with a 25 year history. The opportunity to be a part of Beef’s was attractive because it gave me a chance to leverage 33 years of experience. It has provided me the opportunity to help make a good brand a great brand.
2. Why should someone interested in owning his or her own business consider a family sports pub/restaurant franchise?
Well, if they don’t like people, don’t like detail, and have a poor work ethic, they shouldn’t consider a pub or restaurant. If they do have the right attributes, owning a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s can be both personally and financially rewarding.
3. What sets Beef ‘O’ Brady’s apart from your competitors in the family sports pub/restaurant industry?
The differentiation begins with a much lower initial investment than many of our competitors. We also have some of the lowest royalty and advertising rates in the industry, at 4.0% and 1.5% respectively.
We believe our food quality and menu variety are extremely competitive. Our value proposition is one of our strongest attributes. When you combine these characteristics with a fun, relaxed atmosphere, it makes Beef ‘O’ Brady’s a great option for family dining.
4. What qualities do you look for in a prospective franchisee?
We look for franchisee candidates whose background, attitudes, and work ethic mimic the best franchisees in our system. We have developed a screening tool to help us determine that. We also look for people skills, planning ability, some financial acumen, and the willingness to listen. These characteristics are all needed to be a successful franchisee. We have successful franchisees from all walks of life — ex-teachers, preachers, military, law enforcement, etc. — and they all have these characteristics.
We have developed a site model that helps us pick the best trade area for a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. We had a company perform a sophisticated statistical analysis of over 200 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s locations to tease out the specific trade area characteristics that make for a successful Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. The specific info is a combination of demographic and psychographic data, as well as general site characteristics like visibility, access, parking, etc. The exact data is proprietary but a couple of specific items we look for are movie theaters and the percentage of the local population involved in the military.
6. Based on your observations, what concrete steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their businesses?
First of all, they are fully engaged in managing the business day to day. They tend to be very good with people, both employees and customers. They make sure they understand the strengths and weaknesses of their trade area. They follow our proven systems for branding their location and they are very connected in their community. Last but not least, they execute the basics well — service and food quality.
7. What kind of ongoing support do you extend to your franchisees to help them become more successful?
We have Regional Franchise Consultants who are in the field to consult on issues as needed. They also assist in opening new locations and training franchisees on new initiatives like RTIconnect, a new back of the house management system. We publish a weekly newsletter called Beef Bytes to keep franchisees informed and to recommend best practices. We do webinars to introduce new products and procedures. We hold regional meetings and do an annual retreat to get some face time with the franchisees and get their input on new marketing and menu ideas.
8. What would you tell a prospective franchisee who wants to know about the profit potential of a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s franchise?
Each individual location’s profit depends on a number of variables that can and must be understood and controlled by the franchisee. Profit is not automatic. The amount of profit a location produces is a result of a franchisee’s decisions and effort in managing all the components that drive profitability — initial investment, sales volume, cost of goods, cost of labor, operating costs, and rent. Maximizing profitability requires understanding the key levers that drive profits and attention to detail.
A typical day is filled with meetings where I am following up. I’m often responding to calls and inquiries, visiting Beef ‘O’ Brady’s locations, communicating with franchisees and sometimes the press. I spend a lot of my time evaluating our progress and thinking about “what’s next” and planning for it. What I enjoy most is seeing our franchisees succeed.
10. Is there anything else that you’d like to share with us about Beef ‘O’ Brady’s?
We are staking the future of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s on our belief that the relentless pursuit of quality, value, store level execution, and compelling unit level economics will ensure our success.