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16 Things You Need to Know About the Smashburger Franchise Opportunity
Smashburger Franchise Menu Offerings
1. Smashburger serves a full line of signature burgers and create-your-own options made with 100% Certified Angus Beef, artisan buns, and a broad array of premium toppings. Smashburger’s award-winning burgers are cooked to order and smashed on a flat grill to sear in their juicy flavor.
2. Smashburger also serves Smashsalads and Smashchicken sandwiches, which are available in Smashburger’s traditional smashed and grilled format or in a new “crispy” offering. Smashburger Founder Tom Ryan says, “The Smashburger concept was born with burgers, chicken, and salads. Our customers have told us that they love what we have done with burgers and want to see the same innovation and magic in our chicken and salad menu. These expanded offerings will give our customers more reasons to visit Smashburger more often.”
3. Other items on the menu are grilled and split hot dogs, an array of signature sides like rosemary and garlic–seasoned Smashfries, sweet potato Smashfries, crispy haystack onions, veggie frites, Häagen-Daz shakes, malts, floats and an array of local craft bottled beers and wine.
4. Smashburger is the only national chain to serve localized burgers inspired by regional favorite flavors. These custom-designed burgers highlight the signature ingredients and taste combinations of each city, giving customers a burger built for their local palate.
Guests can enjoy localized smashburgers at restaurants across the country and each specialized burger reflects the market’s food identity and passion, ranging from fried pickles with ranch dressing in Tulsa to the guacamole and Habanero cheese-topped Arizona smashburger. These local items account for 15-25% of a restaurant’s total sales.
5. In 2007, Tom Ryan and his partners purchased a burger place in Denver called Icon Burger, and rebranded it as Smashburger for its signature way of cooking hamburgers — by smashing the fresh beef patty on a hot griddle.
6. Developed and owned by private equity and concept-development firm Consumer Capital Partners (who provided the initial $15 million of funding), Smashburger operates and develops corporate, joint venture, and franchise stores across the country.
7. In just four years, Smashburger has become the nation’s fastest growing fast casual “better burger” restaurant concept, opening the doors to its 100th store in April this year. Smashburger has successfully opened stores in 20 states and 29 markets, with an even mix of corporate and franchise units.
8. Smashburger plans to open 85 new stores in 2011, ending the year at approximately 175 units, with a goal to reach 500 stores in the next few years. International expansion is also part of Smashburger’s plans for continued growth as the restaurant aims to become the number one global “better burger” brand.
9. Tom Ryan, the Founder and Chief Concept Officer of Smashburger, was formerly the top marketing executive at Quizno’s (Chief Marketing Officer) and McDonald’s (EVP and Worldwide Chief Concept Officer).
Tom is known for developing business building concepts, products, and marketing programs throughout his career, including the Stuffed Crust Pizza line at Pizza Hut, McGriddles, Big ‘n Tasty, Dollar Menu, and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits at McDonald’s, and Steakhouse Beef Dip, Prime Rib, and Sammies at Quiznos.
10. In an exclusive interview with Burgerbusiness.com (a blog I highly recommend), Tom Ryan says, “We’ve watched our peers who grew too fast and made mistakes. We believe in metered growth. And we have the vision to staff our company ahead of our growth curve. You can say we’re growing very quickly but we’re growing even faster in talent and real-estate knowledge. That’s where a lot of concepts fall down. Their talent pool becomes diluted or their real-estate judgment isn’t what it ought to be. We don’t suffer from either one of those.”
11. Smashburger was named a 2009 Hot Concepts! award winner by Nation’s Restaurant News and has received numerous awards from critics and consumers alike from around the country.
12. A Smashburger restaurant ranges in size from 1,600 to 2,200 square feet, and seats from 40 to 70 customers. Some restaurants have patios that can accommodate an additional 20 to 40 seats.
13. A typical Smashburger restaurant does 70% dine-in business and 30% carry out. The business is divided almost evenly between lunch (55%) and dinner (45%), and the average check is $8. Smashburger locations are open daily, from 10am to 10pm.
14. Dine-in customers order at the counter and wait about 5-6 minutes for their order. Average table turn is 20-25 minutes.
Smashburger Franchise Requirements
15. Smashburger is seeking multi-unit development partners domestically and internationally. To be considered, individuals or partnerships must meet the following minimum criteria:
- Demonstrated enthusiasm, drive, and passion and a proven record of success in the restaurant industry
- Five years multi-unit restaurant management experience as an owner and / or operator
- Minimum financial net worth of $2.5 million and liquidity of $1 million
- Operating, real estate, and trade area experience in development territory
- Dedicated support team for Smashburger
- Ability to obtain a liquour license (where applicable)
16. Tom Ryan tells Burgerbusiness.com: “I can say that we have only signed franchised agreements with partners who have decades of operating experience and infrastructure. Although you hear about all these markets we’re opening up, we’re partnering with people who are already there.”