🍟 4/30/2024 – 60 Zaxby’s and 80 Total Restaurants

1) Zero to 80+ Restaurants

Drew Gressett started Hat Creek Burger Company back in 2008 with 1 food truck.

Today, that food truck has grown into 26 restaurants in Texas. He’s also used his restaurant experience as a segway into franchise ownership, where he is a partner of a group that owns 60+ Zaxby’s restaurants. 

Dru talks through his journey in my recent podcast with him.

2) Tropical Smoothie Café Acquired for $2B

Last week, Tropical Smoothie Café got acquired by Blackstone for $2 Billion.

Founded in 1997, the franchise had 1,372 locations at the start of the year.

The average location in 2023 generated about~$980,000 in revenue, which created ~$76 million in royalty revenue in 2023 (+15% YoY). Total revenues for the franchisor tallied $163M. 

That’s hell of a business. 

The other interesting aspect is Blackstone’s growing affinity for franchises. They’ve invested in 7 Brew Coffee, now TSC, and were rumored to be having conversations with Jersey Mike’s a month or so ago.

Friendly’s Owner Brix Holdings to Buy Clean Juice
Organic juice franchise Clean Juice closed numerous stores last year and was on the receiving end of a few arbitration filings from franchisees who claim the business model doesn’t work. Now, Brix Holdings (the owner of Friendly’s, Red Mango, and Orange Leaf) is determined to give the franchise a brighter future.

Papa John’s Signs 50-Unit Development Deal With Existing Franchisee, Plus More Multi-Unit News
Papa Johns signed a 50-unit agreement with its largest domestic franchisee, The Bajco Group. Led by Nadeem Bajwa, the group will open the 50 Papa John’s restaurants over the next five years, with growth planned in the Midwest, Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania. Globally, Papa Johns has more than 5,700 locations.

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