Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, the 214-unit franchise of family sports pubs, recently acquired the rights to franchise The Brass Tap, a fast-growing network of upscale bars. The Brass Tap is a Florida-based franchise best known for its more than 300 craft beers, premium wines, and live music.
Inspired by the rapid growth of independent craft brewers and the resulting consumer demand, Chief Development Officer James Walker and Director of Franchise Sales and Development Gene Savage of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s will spearhead The Brass Tap’s domestic and international franchise growth. Plans are to open at least three new franchise units by Q1 2013.
In addition to The Brass Tap’s distinctive beer and wine offerings and fun, contemporary culture, Brass Tap locations will have a positive impact in the markets they enter because of the boost they’ll bring to the local economy. Each Brass Tap location requires 2,000 to 3,000 square feet and will create 10 to 20 new jobs.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Can you tell us the story behind Beef ‘O’ Brady’s recent acquisition of The Brass Tap? How did the deal come about? What role, if any, will the former owners play post-acquisition?
James Walker (JW): Our team has been excited about the growth of craft beer sales for some time, in fact we’ve aggressively begun the process of increasing our craft beer offerings at Beef’s. This interest led us to start conversations with the founders of The Brass Tap.
While the craft beer market got us interested, it was really The Brass Tap business model that got us to the point of wanting to acquire the franchise rights. The founders have done a great job of crafting a concept that consumers love, with a strong business model behind it.
Post acquisition, the founders, particularly Jeff Martin, will continue to provide guidance and intelligence to the new team, as well as provide their insights and counsel to new franchisees.
FC: What’s so special about The Brass Tap concept that led your company to purchase this fast-growing network of upscale craft beer and wine bars?
JW: What makes The Brass Tap special is really the business model. Strong unit level economics with a relatively low investment make for a very attractive franchise model.
FC: How does The Brass Tap fit into your company’s overall strategy going forward?
JW: We are a growth-oriented company, and this allows our team another exciting concept to offer both new as well as existing franchisees.
FC: How would you differentiate the concept and target customer of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s versus The Brass Tap?
JW: Beef’s is more family-oriented, known for great food and great sports theming and programming. The Brass Tap customer is younger, loves our live entertainment, and best in class selection of craft beers.
FC: How do you intend to leverage Beef ‘O’ Brady’s infrastructure and resources to support The Brass Tap opportunity?
JW: Beef’s offers The Brass Tap access to the knowledge and leadership of a seasoned senior team.
FC: Will The Brass Tap remain a standalone concept or will you integrate the two brands in some way?
JW: We like that these concepts complement one another from an investment portfolio standpoint, both for us as the franchisor, but also for franchisees. The difference in customer base and use occasion allows the two concepts to be within the same immediate market, but we have no
immediate plans for further integration.
FC: When it comes to site selection, is there a difference between an ideal location for Beef ‘O’ Brady’s versus an ideal location for The Brass Tap?
JW: The Brass Tap works well in strong regional mall centers, as well as end cap strip center locations, whereas Beef’s traditionally works well in a strip center end cap location.
FC: What can you tell us about the estimated initial investment, royalty fee, and profit potential for a franchise of The Brass Tap?
JW: Before tenant improvement allowances, the initial investment ranges from $324,100-$660,000. Our franchise fee is $35,000 and royalty rate, 4.0%.
FC: What are your growth targets for The Brass Tap in 2012 and beyond? Which regions are you targeting for expansion?
JW: While we are only days into the acquisition, investor interest has been strong — very strong! We have had calls from as far away as India inquiring about obtaining a franchise. Having said that, you will see the quickest expansion in Florida, where there is already some pent up demand for the franchise.
FC: Is there anything else you wish to share about Beef ‘O’ Brady’s or The Brass Tap?
JW: Of course! We are already talking to airport operators about bringing The Brass Tap concept to airports across the US. And if you’re not familiar with the latest news at Beef’s, check us out at www.beefobradysfranchise.com.