Iconic Southern Diner Franchise is Growing and Gaining Market Share

Guests love the Southern hospitality, 24-hour breakfast and classic comfort food

Families, couples, friends and social groups gather at Huddle House for friendly service and consistently great values on delicious meals.

Huddle House is an iconic Southern diner franchise known for our big, hearty breakfasts, our signature Southern hospitality and our motto of “Any Meal. Any Time.” Customers come in 24/7, whether it’s for a 5 a.m. burger or an 11 p.m. three-egg omelet. Huddle House was founded in Georgia, and our Southern hospitality has always been at the core of who we are. We’ve been in business for more than 50 years because we treat customers like guests.

We’re currently adding locations in our mature and developed markets and expanding into areas we’ve never served before.

An iconic brand on the move

Americans are more in love with eating out for breakfast than ever before — and breakfast items just happen to be our biggest sellers. We’ve introduced a new look and modernized the dining experience and brand design, while staying true to our roots. We’ve retained the charm and familiarity of the brand that guests have loved for decades and we’re still the hometown gathering place that’s known for our ‘round-the-clock breakfasts and Southern hospitality.

CEO Michael Abt

Under CEO Michael Abt’s leadership, we’ve remodeled 60% of our 400-plus restaurants, featuring the new and strategic Evolution design, which has proven to increase same-store sales. Abt, who was named as one of Nation’s Restaurant News most influential leaders in foodservice in 2016, has built a team of franchising experts that is dedicated to putting franchisees first. “I truly believe great people are your greatest asset,” Abt says. “We’ve built a tremendous team of top performers who are dedicated to serving our franchise partners. That’s why our sales and profits are better than they’ve been in the history of Huddle House.”

Huddle House is a 50-year old iconic and traditional brand that is every bit as relevant today as it was when it opened. Huddle House isn’t trendy and therefore doesn’t go out of style. We possess an “evergreen” value proposition: well-priced, well-portioned traditional meals, open kitchen and table service with a smile. We diversify our revenue over four day parts: breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night.

Small town market strategy yields big city returns

Average unit volume for the top 50% of Evolution design franchises units was $1,002,796 for the fiscal year ending August 2018. The gross margin for the top 50% of company-owned units was 40.6%.

We’ve been a favorite diner in the South since the 1960s, and now we’re expanding into new markets across the United States. Aside from typical metropolitan centers, we also thrive in the smaller towns that other chains deem too small to service. By creating a “first-to-market” opportunity in these smaller, rural towns, we establish ourselves as the place to go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late nights and weekends.

With this “first-to-market” position, we build fierce brand loyalty, while at the same time establishing ourselves as the foodservice employer of choice. Therefore, we often shut the door to many of our competitors who require larger investments and have to do higher volumes than Huddle House to turn a reasonable profit for ownership. With our smaller footprint, efficient design, and understanding of how to build high customer frequency in smaller, underserved and low-density markets, we make the numbers work by “owning” those under-penetrated smaller markets.

Huddle House is the “big fish in a small pond,” leaving little available market for the other “big fish” full-service restaurant chains. Whether it’s Hazlehurst, Georgia, or Suffolk, Virginia, Huddle House executes a market penetration strategy that has worked well for franchisee investors since 1964.

Our multiple-restaurant formats and flexible business model provide opportunities for single and multi-unit operators alike. Since our Southern diner franchise works so well in smaller communities, entrepreneurs can establish a hometown gathering place that may have been sorely needed. And with our increasing momentum and the pervasive demand for breakfast, Huddle House is worth considering for any multi-unit owners to establish a foothold in the popular restaurant industry or for a first-time restaurateur looking to get established in the foodservice industry.