In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn more about Pedal Pub from its chief development officer, Shane
Franchise Chatter (FC): What is Pedal Pub?
Shane Dunn (SD): Pedal Pub is the Minneapolis-based leader in the experiential tourism industry that provides guests with a uniquely fun, social, and exciting two-hour experience. Our forward-thinking brand uses top-of-the-line party bikes to create a fun and entertaining experience for you and up to 15 of your friends. The bikes offer community members and tourists the chance to drink with friends, partake in a light workout, and tour neighborhoods and cities in a brand new way.
Pedal Pub was founded in 2007 in Minnesota after two friends were inspired by the party bike scene in Amsterdam. Today, Pedal Pub has more than 40 licensee locations open and operating. This past April, the company announced its franchise opportunity. We’re projecting to have 12 new locations open by the end of the year. Our ultimate goal is to have 1,200 bikes operating in North America by 2023.
FC: Why did you decide to switch from a licensee model to a franchise system?
SD: Pedal Pub started as a licensed concept when it began operating in 2007. This structure allowed the brand to quickly expand across the country, but it put a lot of burden and responsibility on individual operators.
Under our new franchise model, Pedal Pub offers operators the independence of small business ownership with the increased support of a big business network. We provide the training needed to operate the business and help franchisees have a higher rate of success. We pride ourselves on maintaining a positive reputation and image through dependable management, work practices, and ongoing support.
The transition and announcement of the franchise opportunity has been well received. Now, operators can focus on establishing relationships with local bars, restaurants, and breweries while we provide support through training, marketing, and city permitting. Franchisees can rest assured knowing that there is a dedicated team working behind the scenes to provide continuous support.
FC: What does Pedal Pub offer to customers that other tourism attractions can’t?
SD: We enhance tourism and mundane bar hopping by creating a fun and social outing. The brand is tapping into a niche in the lifestyle and beer enthusiast category to shake up a night out with friends. With leisure travelers spending more than $718 billion in 2017, a 5.2 percent increase from 2016, Pedal Pub is capitalizing on the growing tourism and travel trend with a new and innovative way to explore America’s greatest cities. The experiential tourism industry is an incredibly attractive yet untouched market, and Pedal Pub is claiming the space.
The Pedal Pub brand has truly flipped the bar-hopping routine on its head. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, Pedal Pub provides the opportunity to visit hand-picked restaurants, bars, and breweries with a group of up to 16 individuals. Riders are able to book a tour, typically lasting two hours, with large or small groups to experience the city and visit local hot spots. It’s the perfect way to celebrate birthdays, bachelorette parties, family events, and more. In our eyes, Pedal Pub provides an incredible experience that strengthens the whole community.
FC: How does Pedal Pub foster relationships with local restaurants, bars, and breweries?
SD: The way Pedal Pub locations create partnerships with local establishments is different in every market. Some Pedal Pub operators have fostered exclusive partnerships with local breweries by using their extra storage space to house the bikes. Breweries make the perfect parking spots for our signature bikes, and are the perfect place for a party to begin or end their trip.
Additionally, some operators have worked with bars and restaurants to customize menus for Pedal Pub parties. Some bars, for example, offer exclusive beer flights or shots for our trips, while others provide a la carte menu items. This a great way to provide Pedal Pub passengers with specialized drinks and dishes, while showcasing new experiences at tried and true destinations. Our operators have great relationships with local establishments – the Pedal Pub experience creates a completely new customer base and revenue stream for them.
FC: What’s next for Pedal Pub and what should we expect to see in the future from the brand?
SD: We are laser focused on our franchise opportunity. This means both providing support to our licensee operators, and welcoming all new franchisees to the system. With low operating costs, exceptional corporate support, and an exciting concept in a booming industry, Pedal Pub is an attractive investment opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to enter the space.
The total first year start-up costs for this business are estimated between $76,959 and $266,999. This estimate includes the purchase or lease of two Pedal Pub bikes and access to the only blanket covered umbrella insurance policy for the party bike industry, storage, marketing, and corporate support costs.
Risk is mitigated since all purchasers receive a business operations course hosted in arguably the largest party bike operation in the world, Nashville, and a complete business operations manual; ready-to-use and up-to-date digital technology; a third-party company dedicated to Pedal Pub for bike support, maintenance, after-market products, parts, and accessories to maximize uptime; a U.S. stock of bikes to support growth; territorial protection; and a wealth of business best practices offered by the franchisor.