Chris McMillan is potentially the initially cafe operator to say analyzing a concept’s existing functions isn’t necessary when choosing to add a manufacturer to his portfolio. That is how confident he is in his own staff.
“We don’t at any time really seem significantly at the operations,” mentioned McMillan, founder and CEO of Panhandle Cafe Team and a new franchisee of Big Hen and Teriyaki Madness following signing substantial multi-unit promotions. “The product, it has to be some thing that we’re happy of and know people would try to eat on a dependable basis—and that we would consume ourselves.”
He’ll take a look at the places to eat of a possible new idea in the study course of owing diligence, but how those people places operate “is not a selecting element,” as he thinks the working experience of his operations team—and his own 20-in addition years in the Sonic Drive-In system—mean they can execute any principle.
Panhandle Restaurant Group, centered in Panama Town, Florida, is a Sonic franchisee with 27 restaurants in northern Florida, northwest Arkansas and Louisiana. It also has two RibCrib dining establishments with an settlement for an additional 4, is soon opening the to start with of 3 PJ’s Coffee locations and is producing a few of its have brands—seafood notion C-Mac’s, 850 Pizza and Gulf Coast Tacos—with designs to franchise. Huge Rooster, the Shaquille O’Neal-owned rapid-relaxed idea, and Denver-primarily based Teriyaki Madness are the most recent additions to the portfolio after McMillan signed 40- and 35-device franchise agreements, respectively.
That’s a whole lot of advancement to digest, but McMillan’s philosophy is, “you’ve gotta be 1,000 per cent in or not at all.” His agreements for Big Hen and Teriyaki Insanity protect territories identical to exactly where Panhandle operates its Sonics. McMillan does not have non-public fairness backing but will work with companies this kind of as Four Rivers Funds, Plaza Avenue Partners and Peachtree Advancement on a develop-to-go well with basis.
McMillan and his wife, Amy, who’s also his business enterprise companion, the two trace their cafe roots to Sonic, the place they began performing as young adults. That history, he reported, aids them relate to retail outlet-level personnel.
“I commenced as a carhop, a base employee likely generating 6 bucks an hour,” he claimed. “We join very effectively to our individuals. We’re preaching and instructing what we’ve been strolling,” and they make a place to display the alternatives out there for workforce to transfer up in the business.
Expanding the PRG portfolio
A former Slim Chickens franchisee, McMillan marketed to associates his stake in the three restaurants the team opened, paving the way for him to sign with Major Chicken. That brand has two dining establishments open up, in Las Vegas and Glendale, California, alongside with non-traditional locations inside Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, UBS Arena in New York and Moody Center in Austin, Texas. It also has two places on Carnival cruise ships and a deal with Ghost Kitchen area Brands, which so much has a single area inside of a Walmart in Rochester, New York.
The cost to open a Huge Hen ranges from $653,000 to $1,567,000.
“Minus the truth that the meals is elite, the crew associated, there was these types of a connection … it was nearly like we’d known them our overall life,” said McMillan of what aided seal the deal. And it was when in Las Vegas for Massive Chicken’s discovery working day that McMillan and his staff had the prospect to stop by a Teriyaki Insanity area just after carrying out some initial online analysis.
“We went in and mentioned, we want 1 of anything on the menu, and stuffed our faces right up until we could rarely go,” recalled McMillan. He and Amy, who he said is “really skeptical to say certainly to nearly anything,” produced a individual pay a visit to and she also beloved the food items.
“It all boiled down to the high-quality of the product.”
Teriyaki Insanity, a quickly-relaxed concept serving rice and noodle bowls, positions itself as a much healthier option and, McMillan reported, appeals to a various consumer established than PRG’s other brand names. Teriyaki Insanity has practically 120 destinations its 35-unit arrangement with PRG is the premier in the brand’s 19-12 months history.
The price tag to open a Teriyaki Madness is among $346,400 and $768,760 its typical unit quantity is $1.16 million.