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FDD Talk: The Brothers Bar & Grill Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on March 1, 2017

in Bar Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Restaurant Franchise, Sports Bar Franchise



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

  • Section I – Background information on the Brothers Bar & Grill franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Brothers Bar & Grill franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Brothers Bar & Grill’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2016 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2015 annual sales, square footage of the restaurant, and total population of the area where the restaurant is located for the restaurant with the highest sales, the restaurant with the lowest sales, and one restaurant in the middle of the Brothers Bar & Grill restaurants with total annual sales over $2,000,000
  • 2015 annual sales, square footage of the restaurant, and total population of the area where the restaurant is located for the restaurant with the highest sales, the restaurant with the lowest sales, and one restaurant in the middle of the Brothers Bar & Grill restaurants with total annual sales between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000
  • 2015 annual sales, square footage of the restaurant, and total population of the area where the restaurant is located for the restaurant with the highest sales, the restaurant with the lowest sales, and one restaurant in the middle of the Brothers Bar & Grill restaurants with total annual sales under $1,000,000

Section I – Background Information

Two Brothers Open a Midwestern-Style Bar

The first Brothers Bar & Grill was opened by Marc and Eric Fortney in 1990 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Although the company’s logo says that the bar was established in 1967, this is actually a nod to the year the oldest Fortney brother was born.



According to the company, Brothers is “a throwback to the old Midwestern corner tavern.” Brothers is a place to hangout with friends, have a few drinks, and enjoy familiar American comfort food. Each location has 35 to 40 beers on tap and a wide selection of liquor. Brothers’ menu includes over 20 appetizers, 11 sandwiches, 4 fresh wraps, 10 burgers, and many more items, mostly made from scratch.

Although, Brothers Bar & Grill has been in business for several decades, the company’s growth has been slow. There are only 20 locations across a handful of states, including Wisconsin, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Kentucky.

Plans to Open New Location in Historic Indianapolis Building

In April 2016, it was reported that Brothers Bar & Grill was seeking approval from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) to turn a historic building into a new bar. Although there is no current update on Brothers’ request, at the time of the initial application, the IHPC was in favor of the request stating that Brothers’ plans to turn the building into a bar was “a creative way to use a left-over space that otherwise has limited value.”

The building was previously occupied since 1970 by Roberts Camera, but was originally built in 1907 for the American Railway Express Co.

$100,000 College Basketball Bracket Challenge

Brothers Bar & Grill is currently holding a contest for the 2017 Men’s College Basketball Tournament. To enter the contest, customers need to register online and submit a bracket prediction for all 63 games in the tournament. Entries must be submitted any time from March 12 to March 16.

Brothers will post an updated leader board throughout the tournament so contestants can monitor their predictions.



The grand prize is $100,000 in cash for the person who can predict a perfect bracket. Another large cash prize of $10,000 will go to the contestant that predicts 60+ games correctly.

Each Brothers location will be handing out a small prize to the top three contestants with the highest number of correct predictions. 1st place at each location will receive a $250 gift card; 2nd place will receive a $100 gift card; and 3rd place will receive a $50 gift card.

Monthly Limited-Time Offers

Every month, Brothers Bar & Grill has special food and drink offers. For the month of February, each Brothers location offered discounted Hurricanes and 32 oz. Flavored Pitchers to celebrate Mardi Gras. Sixteen oz. cans of Coors Light beer were also discounted throughout the whole month.

The featured beer on tap for the month was Blue Moon White Belgium. Brothers’ featured shot of the month was the Gummi Bear shot with Premium Raspberry Flavored Three Olives Vodka.

Not Ranked on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

Despite being in business for nearly 30 years, the growth of Brothers Bar & Grill has been relatively slow. With only a few locations, the company has not yet earned a spot on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Brothers Bar & Grill 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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