This is part of an exclusive online series by Nation's Restaurant News and Chain Store Guide, profiling the restaurant industry's top 10 growth chains. Go to NRN.com's Special Reports page to read more profiles highlighting the industry's fastest-growing players based on five-year unit growth rates.
From just four locations in operation in Kansas at the end of 2004, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has grown to 40 restaurants across eight states.
With a decor reminiscent of a 1950s-style diner, the menu features classic American diner food, including hamburgers, hot dogs, patty melts, French fries, onion rings, sundaes and shakes.
In an interview earlier this year with Nation’s Restaurant News, Freddy's president Bill Simon said the chain strives to give customers "a full-service mentality in a fast-casual setting." He cited a dual focus on service and quality as a key reason why Freddy’s was able to grow sales during the U.S. economic downturn.
"I believe that, due to the quality of the Freddy’s food and experience, we have picked up some of the sales that have been lost in casual dining as a repercussion to the economy and high jobless rate," he said.
In its quest to expand, Freddy's faces competition from brands like the 485-unit Steak n Shake, which has returned to positive sales under the leadership of chief executive and well-known activist investor Sardar Biglari.
- Having words with Bill Simon of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers
- Steak n Shake 4Q sales, profit surge