Sponsored by Nathan's Famous
As we look ahead to 2023, there’s still much uncertainty for restaurants. The bounce back from COVID-19 has been slower than expected, attributed to a rise in inflation that we haven’t seen in decades. It’s no secret that we lost many great restaurants during the pandemic, with some estimates topping more than 70,000 shuttered doors. Those that made it through felt the impact of diminished profitability, supply chain issues and a fight for staff retention, among other struggles.
Though it’s been a battle, our industry continues to pivot and adapt to find ways to stay afloat in times of great uncertainty and adversity. The pandemic was the catalyst for the ghost kitchen revolution. It forced restaurants to innovate their technology, to create new ways to utilize their kitchens and menus. It changed how we interact with customers, whether that was makeshift patio seating or curbside takeout. As an industry, we are making incredible progress that will undoubtedly set us up for success in the years to come. But what about the here and now? How do we help shuttered restaurants reopen? How do we help struggling restaurant owners get back on track?
The past couple of years have seen many restaurants convert their kitchens to ghost kitchens or create virtual brands utilizing popular aspects of their menu to drive incremental sales, but with a return to in-person dining, how do restaurant owners create a renewed interest in their brick-and-mortar location? Looking ahead to 2023, the concept of total restaurant conversion is top of mind.
Choosing to rebrand your restaurant isn’t an easy one. There are many factors to consider:
- Keep in mind your current restaurant’s relevancy. Does it fit your market and customer base around it?
- Review the competitive landscape. What might be missing in your market and what concepts might make a splash to surrounding customers?
- Take stock of your current infrastructure and equipment. How can you make a shift without considerable capital expenditure?
Once you’ve done your homework and made the decision to rebrand or convert your restaurant, it’s essential to keep in mind the following while pursuing a new franchise brand partner:
- How popular is the brand? Does it have a solid history, or is it an up-and-coming concept with a growing fanbase?
- Is the concept flexible with their design parameters, or will there be a significant expense to rebrand and redesign your restaurant?
- How does the brand’s infrastructure match up to your current setup?
- Once you understand the design and infrastructure piece, how long will it take to reopen?
- What will the brand provide in terms of marketing support?
Converting your shuttered or slow-performing restaurant into a new concept is an excellent idea if you find a partner that is flexible and willing to work with you to keep conversion costs down. Finding a brand with a rich history and brand relevance is also key to a successful conversion.
For a limited time, Nathan’s Famous is offering potential franchisees a 50 percent reduced franchise fee if they commit to converting their shuttered or currently open restaurant location to a Nathan’s Famous. The conversion program offers flexibility across restaurant design, equipment and infrastructure, often using the restaurant’s current arrangement to save costs and open quickly. Potential franchisees that sign up for the conversion program can also take advantage of additional revenue opportunities through Nathan’s Famous’ ghost kitchen brands, Arthur Treacher’s and Wings of New York.
Now is the time to plan for the rest of the year. Is your brick-and-mortar location positioned for success? If not, consider the opportunity to harness the name recognition and brand loyalty of a world-renowned franchise to meet your 2023 goals.