Menu Research and Development

Franchisees drive revenue through 5 day parts: breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night and weekends

Guests love our cooked-to-order, Southern-inspired favorites, and franchisees love the healthy margins.
Guests love our cooked-to-order, Southern-inspired favorites, and franchisees love the healthy margins.

The Huddle House menu is made up of Southern-inspired comfort food that evokes nostalgia. It’s uncomplicated; it’s made from ingredients supplied from our in-house supply chain; and it is designed to deliver high consumer value at healthy gross margins to franchisees. That’s not something you’ll find at most breakfast franchises.

“The Huddle House menu is all about the comfort food that reminds you of things your mom might cook for you on a Saturday morning in the South. It’s all about the nostalgia, those warm, around-the-table moments from a time when people actually sat together on Saturday mornings without spending time on their devices,” says Executive Chef and Director of Menu Development Jenn Townsend.

“I love the Huddle House menu,” says Townsend, who has been a food concept owner-operator herself and has research and development experience with Blimpie’s and Arby’s. “I love working on the food, and I love the people who eat our food.”

Demand, supply and commodities

infographic-8An in-house supply chain helps us keep food costs down and build in protection against the fluctuating price of commodities. We buy food and smallwares in bulk for franchisees and, because we have internal distribution systems, we can break down larger volume shipments for individual franchise partners, which helps protect profit margins and cut down on food waste.

Breakfast foods are traditionally cheaper than other dayparts, and with breakfast items constituting 60% of our sales on average, our franchise partners tend to see higher margins.

“Of all the brands I’m associated with, Huddle House has the lowest food costs of any of the brands,” says Franchise Partner Robert Wiggins.

“The awesome thing is there is a ton of eggs in our core heavy-mix items,” Townsend says. “Eggs are cheap. Our hashbrowns are very popular — potatoes are cheap. Food cost fluctuations don’t hit us that hard.”

Fluctuating commodities prices can wreak havoc on many chains and erode margins. Our menu mix and on-staff Procurement Director shelter franchisees from radical swings in food costs.

Stuffed hashbrowns aren’t something guests are likely to make at home, but they’re a perennial favorite. Lower-cost items like eggs and potatoes make it popular with franchisees, too.
Stuffed hashbrowns aren’t something guests are likely to make at home, but they’re a perennial favorite. Lower-cost items like eggs and potatoes make it popular with franchisees, too.

Mike Lokhandwala, an experienced multi-unit food franchise operator who opened his first Huddle House in Valdosta, Georgia, in 2016, says the popularity of the breakfast menu and the potential of higher profit-margins definitely influenced his decision to invest.

“With the majority of our sales coming from the first shift, the breakfast shift, that drills down to the breakfast portion making a larger impact on that food cost, so yes, that did influence my decision,” he says.

Our menu is simple

Huddle House menu is relatively simple, easy to prepare and easy to learn. This minimizes the impact of store employee turnover on the overall guest experience and helps us maintain consistency during training or periods of transition.

When asked how Huddle House is unique among breakfast franchises, franchisee Barry Robinson describes us this way: “Huddle House has something for everybody when you look at the Huddle House menu. We have everything covered. You’ve got the full dinners; the things the kids want like hamburgers, chicken fingers and those sorts of things; you’ve got sandwiches; the breakfast. The full spectrum of the menu is covered so that you have something for everybody in the community.”

For more detail

If you’d like to learn more about the Huddle House startup costs for our different formats, please fill out this form to start a conversation. We’ll send you a link to a proprietary page with more details.