How Huddle House Gives Back
Our restaurant franchise believes in being a good corporate citizen because it’s the right thing to do. It also happens to pay off for franchisees.
It has always been important for Huddle House to be a part of the communities we serve. We are setting AUV records and have high rates of customer repeat business, and one of the key factors of our success is our efforts to support the community. And we’ve found that cultivating a successful restaurant franchise while being a philanthropic organization are values that go hand-in-hand.
We are already a brand that thrives in small towns, locating and succeeding in communities that are often skipped over by other sit-down dining chains. Being part of a small town means those 40-50 jobs we create are even more important, and becoming part of the fabric of the community is almost second nature. Consider one franchisee’s story below.
The causes that matter
Bobby Byram III grew up in a Huddle House family. Today, he runs the family Huddle House in Osceola, AR, and is overseeing a new second unit in Paragould, AR.
When tragedy touched the Osceola community recently after two Huddle House regulars were killed in the Branson, MO, tour boat accident, Byram stepped in to help their church raise money for a scholarship in the victims’ honor. He donated the proceeds from one night’s sales to go toward the scholarship.
“It was a father and son from Osceola who were taken in that accident, and the father was my third-grade teacher,” says Byram. “It really affected the community in such a profound way because everyone knew him, and he was such a nice guy.”
In addition to charitable efforts like these, franchisees like Byram also work to create marketing strategies that support the community while also building business.
Local marketing that works
Byram was named our Star Marketer at our annual convention this year for his innovative local marketing programs.
Ironically, it was a break-out session at the previous year’s convention that prompted Byram to step up his local marketing efforts. “That workshop was specifically geared toward store marketing efforts, to give us ideas to really jumpstart the business and get involved in the community. And I just really took it to heart,” Byram says.
Byram’s biggest marketing efforts centered around local schools: foam fingers with the Huddle House logo on one side and the school mascot on the other; coupons for free meals that were handed out as student rewards; Huddle-House branded cups dispensed at the concessions stands. He gets a lot of support from Huddle House corporate for his marketing strategies.
“Huddle House is very dedicated to providing any materials, any help or support when it comes to marketing to its franchisees,” he says. “Anytime I need something — a flyer or something to post on social media or coupons or banners — they’re so helpful. They’re just a phone call away.”
In one promotion that involved several area Huddle House restaurants, discount coupons were handed out at ball games. The participating Huddle House that received the most coupons redeemed were able to give $5,000 to their local school’s sports program, thanks to corporate’s national marketing fund.
Byram also implemented a Senior Night each week, where senior citizens could come in for discounted meals (or their kids or grandkids could buy the dinners for them at the same discounted price).
How giving benefits franchisees
As a local entrepreneur, Byram has been excited getting involved in his hometown in a way that goes beyond attending Chamber of Commerce meetings. And while he admits he upped his marketing budget quite a bit, he’s seen a big payoff, in ways financial and emotional.
“Over the past few months now we have seen consistent double-digit increases above last year in sales. Just for the month of August, we were up 13% or 14%, and I really credit most of that to the involvement in the community and the marketing approaches that I’ve taken.”
More about Huddle House
Huddle House, which began franchising in 1966, has almost 400 units open nationwide, with plenty of prime territory available. If you’d like to learn more about our restaurant franchises, please explore our research pages.