Gregg Hansen, nearing his 20th Huddle House in eight years, shares advice with Entrepreneur readers
A major evolution of Huddle House’s 50-year-old brand is underway, and franchisee Gregg Hansen is a big player. As our leading franchisee with 18 locations, Hansen has purchased and remodeled several older Huddle House locations, helping provide a new face for the iconic brand.
Entrepreneur featured Gregg, an eight-year franchise veteran. He’s adding two more stores as his empire stretches from Georgia to North Dakota.
Gregg is part of our 24-hour, Southern-inspired family restaurant franchise, known for serving affordable, unapologetically homestyle food in a warm, friendly environment. Huddle House franchises are often beloved gathering places in their communities, where residents and travelers can get breakfast, lunch and dinner any time of the day or night. With 378 units in 21 states, the 50-year old franchise is growing well beyond its original core market in the Southeast and into markets in the West, Midwest and Northeast.
A restaurant manager since the age of 18 and a business owner since 1995, Gregg says he wanted to return to restaurants and “fell in love” with the Huddle House brand.
Gregg chose franchising, he tells Entrepreneur, because: “I want to be an independent owner of my business and be in charge of my own success and utilize my strengths. But I don’t want to recreate the wheel. Franchising is a perfect way to do that.”
Huddle House franchise management was very helpful, Gregg says. He faced some expected challenges in operating his franchise, but there were few surprises.
“I think the most important advice that I can give is to keep your monthly fixed costs, particularly occupancy costs, as low as possible,” Gregg says. “High costs will just make things harder.”
Jonathan Benjamin, chief development officer of the Huddle House franchise, says Gregg’s approach to business is ideal for a successful franchisee.
“Gregg has the spirit of entrepreneur, and that’s what we look for in a franchisee,” Jonathan says. “He’s actively involved in his restaurants, and he’s seeing a good return on his investment because of it. Best of all, he’s having fun and loves what he’s doing.”
With franchise and development agreements representing 34 new restaurants as well as 10 new construction starts, 2014 was the most successful period of growth in recent years for Huddle House.
If you want to learn more about how our 50-year-old legacy brand is growing, please explore our research pages and read franchisee interviews and exciting developments on our blog. You can also fill out this form to download our free franchising report. We’d love to hear from you!