Huddle House Announces Expansion Plans for 2019
Huddle House is dishing out a series of significant announcements positioned to continue to elevate the brand’s presence across the country.
To kick off 2019, Huddle House is debuting a new store footprint, providing an option for a smaller, 2000 square-foot building with fewer seats, but with the same warm environment that Huddle House fans have come to know and love. The smaller restaurant option will retain the Evolution design responsible for greatly increasing the brand’s average unit volume in recent years, while significantly reducing development costs by an estimated $150,000 or more and opening the franchise opportunity to more entrepreneurs with a lower total investment.
Furthermore, Huddle House is also setting an aggressive company-owned store growth strategy into motion. Over the next five years, Huddle House intends to open 12 new company restaurants annually to amplify the brand’s presence in communities across the country. The first of these corporate locations is set to open in March in Hokes Bluff, Alabama.
In addition to the corporate growth plan, the brand is continuing its robust franchise expansion strategy, with 10 new franchise stores set to open before Summer 2019, spanning seven states from Virginia to Texas.
“These strategies signify the confidence that we have in our brand, and our desire to continue to evolve the brand on all fronts,” says Christina Chambers, senior vice president of franchise development at Huddle House. “While Huddle House has been a household name in many towns for more than half a century, our work is just getting started. We’re expanding into new states and markets nationwide every year, and we have no plans of slowing down any time soon.”
These announcements come on the heels of the brand’s continued success in 2018, during which Huddle House opened 11 new restaurants and signed an additional 25 franchise agreements across eight states. Additionally, the brand’s 2018 Franchise Disclosure Document Item 19 marked a milestone for average unit volume, with the top half of Huddle House’s current Evolution design locations averaging over one million dollars.
On the operations and consumer sides of the business, 2018 also marked an impressive number of achievements. Huddle House began the system wide rollout of e-Restaurant, a new data-based back-office system that helps franchise partners achieve greater efficiencies in food cost and labor management. On the consumer front, Huddle House launched a new mobile-responsive consumer-facing website that makes it easier than ever to find a location, browse the menu, sign up for offers and news, join Huddle Up Rewards loyalty program and order online. Huddle House also implemented an aggressive digital and social media advertising effort across the web. And, the brand also surprised its loyal guests with the system wide introduction of the brand-new Two-Hand Sandwich line, with hearty and contemporized offerings like Roasted Turkey Bacon Ranch and Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, on toasted sourdough bread.
“The past year was tremendous for the brand, and the growth and accomplishments has allowed us to further our presence across the country,” says Chambers. “Not only have we continued to grow our legacy into new markets with both new and existing franchise partners, but we’ve also implemented a number of new systems and offerings that positively impact both the guest experience in the restaurants and our franchise partner’s bottom line. All of this is momentum that we’re eager to continue in 2019 and beyond.”
Today, there are 390 Huddle House restaurants open, under construction or in development.