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12 Things You Need to Know About the Elevation Burger Franchise Opportunity
Elevation Burger’s Menu
1. Elevation Burger has a very focused menu consisting of hamburgers (beef or veggie; a single patty or stacked up to 10) with your choice of traditional toppings, fries, a signature salad, a grilled cheese sandwich, cookies, shakes, and malts.
2. Consistent with their slogan that “Ingredients Matter,” Elevation Burgers are made from 100% USDA-certified organic, 100% grass-fed and 100% free range beef that is freshly ground on-premises — never frozen. Their fries are fresh-cut and cooked in 100% pure olive oil.
The milk that they use for their shakes and malts have no growth hormones and all cookies are made with organic eggs and butter.
3. In an exclusive interview with Burgerbusiness.com, Elevation Burger’s CEO Hans Hess explains the rationale for their limited menu. “Breakfast would be a pretty big distraction, and I’m not really interested in becoming Denny’s 2.0. Once you start adding breakfast, and chicken and fish and pancakes, then you stop being a focused operation that’s relatively easy to operate. We have a hard enough time doing one product, a burger, really well day in and day out. I’m a big believer in the depth that comes from focusing.”
Elevation Burger Restaurant Experience
4. All Elevation Burger restaurants feature high-efficiency equipment, as well as recyclable and rapidly renewable finishes. A typical location ranges in size from 1,200 to 2,200 square feet — a small, flexible space that can fit in just about any location with high traffic and visibility.
5. Hans Hess reveals to Burgerbusiness.com that they are working on a new prototype (using cast-iron griddles) to make store operations more efficient. “We spend our innovative energy trying to figure out how to get our product hotter, fresh, faster. Still doing a fresh-made product but getting it to the customer in — and these words are very important — a short, predictable format. So we’re working on a new prototype to get it to the guest in a short, predictable fashion. If you can do that, then what happens is increased through-put. From an operator’s standpoint, you can sell more of what customers want to eat at dinner and lunch.”
Elevation Burger Franchise History and Growth
6. Elevation Burger was conceived in 2002, when its founder Hans Hess couldn’t find a burger he loved after leaving California in 1999. After three years of planning, research, and development, Hans and his wife opened the first Elevation Burger in 2005. The company, which is based in Arlington, VA, begain franchising in 2008 and now has over 30 locations open.
7. When asked about the impact of the economy on the company’s growth, Hans Hess tells Burgerbusiness.com: “As far as franchisees getting capital, that has never been a problem. Even at the bottom of the downturn, we didn’t see people not get loans because we take pains to make sure our operators are well capitalized. We did see, back in the second half of 2008, franchise leads really dry up. So we had a tough time then just getting people interested. I think it was a fear factor rather than actual circumstances on the ground. This year the picture has totally changed. We’ve been averaging selling a five-unit deal every month.”
Elevation Burger Franchise Training and Support
8. Upon signing the franchise agreement, a dedicated member of Elevation Burger’s development team is assigned to the new franchisee and will assist in all phases of the development process.
9. New franchisees receive support in the areas of real estate and site selection, research and development, construction and design, and management training. The franchisee’s general manger and assistant manager receive three weeks of training to ensure smooth operations.
10. Franchisees have access to Elevation Burger’s marketing and advertising programs. The company’s support team is present for each restaurant opening, and provides ongoing support in operations, training, service, purchasing and distribution, among others.
Elevation Burger Franchise Cost
11. The total initial investment to open a single Elevation Burger unit ranges from $378,500 to $743,500. The initial franchise fee is $30,000 and the ongoing royalty fee is 6% of gross sales.
12. Currently, Elevation Burger is looking primarily for multi-unit development partners (although single unit franchisees will be considered on a case to case basis in smaller markets). Individuals or partnerships interested in joining the franchise must have a combined net worth of at least $1 million, of which $250,000 must be liquid, and must commit to opening 3 to 10 units over a given timeframe.