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b.good Burger Chain Readies First Franchising Program for Expansion

 

b.good Burger Chain Readies First Franchising Program for Expansion

The opportunity couldn't be "hotter" for better burger chains, if 2011 is any indication. This past year continued to see rapid growth, particularly for fast casual better burger chains. And data for 2010 shows the fast casual chains in this segment posted sales increases of more than 16 percent and unit growth of nearly 17 percent¹. b.good is one such chain, spanning eight units across metro-Boston.

The chain will be launching its first franchising program in February.

In an era where consumers demand more transparency and more sustainable options, b.good is positioning itself as a viable alternative in the better burger chain market, and one that customers can feel good about.

b.good exterior

Jon Olinto, b.good's co-founder, says that the company's lessons from its recent opening in Burlington, Mass. set the stage for the concept's winning formula. There, the chain has had sales and traffic count that has exceeded management's expectations. It has made design reconfigurations to display the produce used in its menu and also show off the preparation of its burgers in more of a market-place atmosphere that increases the theater of cooking.

A big part of the chain's messaging is in the transparency of the people behind its supply chain and cooking. People are put at the center of the story of b.good's burgers, a story about real people making real food. Fast.

"Our whole brand is based on this concept of real: made from people, not factories,"  says Olinto. "The philosophy is that people emotionally connect with people."

Co-owner Anthony Ackil says that the chain will expand selectively and is looking for the right franchise partners with its program.  b.good's plans include building three to four new company-owned stores in 2012 and signing franchise agreements for another three to four stores.

Ackil wants to take the message of a burger chain with "food made by people, not by factories" to more customers. b.good's messaging seems to be working. Company stores average between $1 million and $1.4 million annually and produce an average check around $9.

b.good produce cooler

Olinto notes that the chain has a big family following, and that customers feel good knowing what they are eating. Sourcing is done locally for the regional chain, with a menu that includes hormone-free meats and handmade sweet potato fries. Crew members and cooks are stars in the developing story of b.good's food along with the farmers that supply the company's stores.

b.good's owners have a methodical and careful approach to growth, and customers outside of Boston are not likely to see the chain within the next year or two. "Our company-owned store growth will be targeted to the Boston area and surrounding suburbs," says Ackil, who also notes that franchises will have start-up costs that range between $385,000 and $500,000.

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¹Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report data.

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(01-23-12)

Copyright: Kandessa Media. All rights reserved.

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This story appears in:  Fast Casual | Franchise & Licensing

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