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Just what the world needs, another burger franchise, right? Judging from the rapid domestic expansion of Jake’s Wayback Burgers and a recent agreement that will see the brand spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the answer to that question would be yes.
That might be because, in spite of its name, Jake’s is more than a fast casual burger restaurant. One of the ways it differentiates itself in a crowded market is by offering more than just another burger. Its name reflects a throwback to 1920s and 1930s America, when thick, juicy burgers with a milkshake served on the side in an aluminum canister were what a customer expected.
Around since 1991, Jake’s was for many years a single restaurant in Newark, Del., the kind of place the chain tries to emulate in its product and decor, like customers might have discovered decades ago on Route 66: small diners and eateries that for the most part gave way to the franchises that now dominate the landscape.
New Partnership Spurs Growth
Franchising itself since 2003, after experiencing regional growth in Delaware, Jake’s changed its name to Jake’s Wayback Burgers, with input from its customers and has been experiencing exceptional growth since 2009, when the original founder of Jake’s Hamburgers John Carter inked a deal with John Eucalitto and Bill Chemero to form Jake’s Franchising LLC.
In addition to the name change, the partners, who achieved phenomenal success in franchise sales with Edible Arrangements, have shepherded many other changes at Jake’s since coming on board. A design team has worked on a retro interior comprised of red barn-board with white and stainless steel accents, like the kind of roadside joint that might have been encountered in the early days of the burger craze. The corporate executives even entertained a kind of focus group: Very elderly patrons, who would remember those bygone days, were invited to experience the decor and verify its authenticity.
“It was more of giving the brand a face, because the stores had no real decor, image or continuity. Every store you went into looked different,” says Jake’s Executive Vice President Bill Chemero.
Diverse Menu is Differentiator