Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.
Today, we’re talking about how cobranding is sweeping the industry.
Fat Brands announced Tuesday the grand opening of the first cobranded Johnny Rockets location with Hurricane Wings in Washington, D.C., continuing the global franchising company’s strategy of building up its multi-brand store model that started in 2013 and accelerated earlier this year. Johnny Rockets retro burgers are being paired with Hurricane Grill & Wings’ sister brand, Hurricane Wings, inside a Holiday Inn location.
Brand synergy is the name of the game for large restaurant groups these days, many of which are leaning more into mix and match cobranding collaborations and rejecting siloed portfolios. Fat Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn told Nation’s Restaurant News that the company currently has 225 cobranded restaurants, and those locations on average see a 20% increase in average unit volume as compared with traditional units.
Although sister brands sharing a location is nothing new, companies are taking it to the next level with new off-premises-focused, tech-forward restaurant formats. Last year, Focus Brands opened the first Auntie Anne’s drive-thru cobranded with Jamba—simultaneously expanding their presence outside malls and driving home a multi-brand development strategy.
Since then, various combinations of Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, and Jamba have sprung up nationally, especially in airports and on college campuses.
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