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FDD Talk 2016: BGR The Burger Joint Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on September 2, 2016

in Fast Casual Restaurant Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Hamburger Franchise



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BGR The Burger Joint Photo by Reg|Photography4Lyfe

In this FDD Talk 2016 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the BGR The Burger Joint franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a BGR The Burger Joint franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of BGR The Burger Joint’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2016 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2015 actual and average revenue for the 18 BGR The Burger Joint restaurants that were open and operating for at least 6 months during the 2015 calendar year
  • 2015 actual and average cost of goods sold and labor expenses for the 17 BGR The Burger Joint restaurants that were open and operating for at least 6 months during the 2015 calendar year and provided the franchisor with their respective cost of goods sold and labor expense data
  • 2015 average, high, and low occupancy cost per square foot for the 18 traditional BGR The Burger Joint restaurants that were open and operating for at least 6 months during the 2015 calendar year

Section I – Background Information

BGR The Burger Joint is a relative newcomer to the gourmet better burger movement. It was founded in 2008 in Bethesda, MD.

The restaurant set about to distinguish itself by making its kitchens open for transparency so customers can connect with the process. The burgers are crafted with high-quality beef and grilled to order over an open flame (as opposed to fried on a piece of stainless steel). The bread (a signature brioche bun) is made by local bakers and delivered fresh daily.

It uses the slogan “It’s not fast food, it’s food made right.”

From scanning the locations listed on its website, there appear to be 21, with another scheduled to open soon. They are mostly clustered in and around Washington, DC (including Maryland and Virginia) with one each in South Carolina, Tennessee, New York, and Georgia, and two in Kuwait.

Here’s how BGR The Burger Joint is trying to make its mark in the highly competitive fast-casual better burger movement:

The Burgers

Customers begin their better burger journey at BGR by selecting which form of protein they want – beef, grilled chicken (skinless breast), turkey (infused with Portobello mushrooms and Gorgonzola cheese), or veggie (patty made with brown rice, black beans, molasses, and oats).

Then customers choose what will carry the patty, with the choices being a sesame brioche bun, lettuce wrap, or as a salad bowl.

Choices in toppings include Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Mojo Sauce, Pickles, Cheese (American, Cheddar, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Blue), Applewood Bacon, Grilled Jalapeños, Avocado, Sauteed Mushrooms, Grilled Pineapple, and even a Fried Egg if that’s the way you like it.

Other Signature Sandwiches

The chain has an array of unique signature offerings, including the Pulled Pork BBQ (a burger topped with pulled pork BBQ and coleslaw), the Wellington (a burger topped with caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, black truffles, and blue cheese crumbles), the Triple D (a burger topped with an over easy egg, applewood smoked bacon, grilled jalapeños, and cheddar cheese), the Greek (ground leg of lamb, tzatziki, feta, cucumber, red onion, lettuce, and tomato), the Ahi Tuna (sushi-grade Ahi grilled with pineapple, teriyaki, and pickled ginger), the Salmon BLT (8-oz. wild salmon from Alaska over tzatziki sauce with applewood bacon, lettuce, and tomato) and the California Club (skinless chicken breast with Swiss cheese, bacon, avocado, baby greens, tomato, and mojo sauce).

The Atmosphere

The restaurants go for a kind of retro vibe with album covers on the walls and televisions that play videos from the 1990s.

The Feast

People interested in becoming a franchisee may attend a tasting event where they can sample any and all of the items on the menu without buns or toppings in order to see just how good they think the food is.

If you read reviews of the chain’s food online, it appears to fall somewhere in the “nothing special” to “pretty darn good” range.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of BGR The Burger Joint franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD (updated).

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2016 FDD) and Analysis



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