Redesigned restaurants, customer experience and targeted marketing drive momentum and sales.
The Huddle House franchise system is enjoying back-to-back periods of same-store sales increases, and we credit our strategic focus on re-energizing the brand, listening to customers and optimizing marketing initiatives. Our brand is thriving, and franchise leadership is setting their sights on innovation and expansion in 2016 and beyond. As of January 2016, Huddle House reported 25 consecutive months of same-store sales increases. Customer reviews are up, sales are up and our franchisees are prospering.
“We’re able to tell a different story about Huddle House today when talking to investors,” says CEO Michael Abt. “We’re going to continue expanding into new territory and increasing the number of new store openings. At the same time, we will continually improve communication with franchise owners and provide the support they need to operate on a day-to-day basis.”
Here are three reasons Huddle House is experiencing top-line sales growth:
Huddle House restaurants are thriving as our Evolution design concept is rolled out franchise-wide. We plan to have the majority of our locations remodeled by end of 2019 to incorporate our contemporary design, which gives our traditional diner heritage a modern twist. The warm and inviting design is breathing new life into our 51-year-old franchise, and it helped us land on the cover of Restaurant Facility Business magazine.
Owners at franchise locations that have gone through the Evolution redesign are finding that the chic new look is having a positive effect on their revenue streams. As published in our August 10 2015 FDD, our top 20% remodeled stores experienced a 33.8% increase in average annualized unit volume in their first year after remodel, and those increases are sustained throughout the first operational year and beyond.
Positive customer experience
We’re continually monitoring customer feedback and making operational improvements to optimize the dining experience. Our new electronic evaluation system enables our franchise area directors to give more immediate and objective feedback to franchise owners on areas that need improvement operationally. The system is paying off; our customer satisfaction rates are high — we earned a record rating of 84.9 as measured by the Voice of the Customer feedback system.
Our culture at Huddle House places great emphasis on creating a dining experience where customers feel welcome. Industry research shows that breakfast diners tend to be high-repeat customers, sometimes dining out five or six times a week. According to Huddle House research, repeat customers eat at our Southern-inspired family restaurant franchise an average of 47 times a year and spend an average of $1,055 in total.
Targeted marketing initiatives
Our coupons and limited-time menu offerings build excitement with customers and reinforce our great value. Our breakfast franchise core customer base is loyal, including many families who are on a budget and looking for quality food with high value. Our breakfast franchise advertising campaigns typically focus on print, and our coupon redemption rates over the past 18 months have increased by as much as 35%.
Limited-time offerings are not only a great draw for customers, but they help franchisees save money in the long run. Owners can buy a small amount of a product to assess its popularity before making it a regularly featured menu item.
With more than 400 restaurants open and under development, our 51-year old franchise is riding a wave of momentum. Huddle House is growing well beyond its original core market in the Southeast and into markets in the Midwest and Northeast, with development agreements as far north as New Jersey.
In fact, we’re growing so quickly that we recently expanded our franchise development staff to support an aggressive growth campaign designed to significantly increase the number of our locations over the next three years.
The core values on which Huddle House was founded – serving freshly prepared, quality home-style food in a warm friendly environment that brings the community together – are as true today as they were more than 50 years ago. For a more in-depth look at how our iconic diner and breakfast brand is going through an amazing brand evolution, read the interview with Huddle House CEO Michael Abt.