Think bigger to go farther

Andy_BusinessWeekFebThere’s a fine line between good business advice, and bad advice with good intentions. Whether you’re an industry pro or just starting your career, it can be difficult to decipher between the two.

Bloomburg Businessweek surveyed several business leaders on the worst work advice they have received. Answers varied from things like “just tell employees what they want to hear” to “you need an advanced degree to get a good job.”

In my case, the bad advice came from a fellow chain restaurant CEO. He advised me to play it safe and expand Fatburger domestically before going international.

My gut told me to push the limits and introduce Fatburger to the rest of the world, and I chose to follow my instincts. This effort was met with great success, particularly in places where we were the first U.S. food concept to hit ground.

If I had decided to play it safe, Fatburger would have missed many international brand opportunities.

Sometimes you need to listen to your instincts, take risks and go for the bigger fish in the sea in order to succeed!

Super Bowl Sunday & 1.25 Billion Chicken Wings

buffalosDid you know that Americans eat a whopping 1.25 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday? We can thank MarketWatch for that interesting fact!

Since the first game in 1967, Super Bowl Sunday has turned into much more than a game; it’s become its own unofficial holiday. This game day holiday gives Americans everywhere an excuse to throw parties and enjoy some delicious food at home in front of the TV. Looking back, sports fanatics could simply show up to the Super Bowl party with chips and dip and call it a day.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth today! In today’s foodie culture, ordering out and ordering specialty items is the new go-to. We anticipated selling over 32,000 wings in our Buffalo’s Café stores this past Sunday which just proves the point. That’s a whole lot of to-go orders and a whole lot of wings!

The Skinnyburger and Hiked Beef Prices

Have you heard about our bun-less burger? We’ve unleashed a new “Skinnyburger” where the bun IS the burger. Imagine a 1/3-pound patty sliced in half with cheese, pickles, onions and your favorite condiments layered in between. This burger is perfect for those carb conscious eaters as it only contains about 320 calories. That’s about 250 calories less than a regular Fatburger!

Skinny Burger

Despite the recent hike in beef prices, we’ve managed to keep sales up and put out an even meatier burger. We know that customers are willing to pay more for what they consider a quality hamburger, so we maintain our success by sticking with a burger recipe which we have stayed true to for over 60 years.

I met with CNBC recently to discuss this in more depth:

“We’re going after that customer at McDonald’s or Burger King, and dragging them up to our space. We’re going after the casual dining customer at a Red Robin, and dragging them down to our space, because of the price point.”

Thanks to our devout Fatburger fan base, we’ve been able to maintain the high quality burger offerings we’re so proud of and introduce a new, meatier burger that’s better for you!

Fatburger Maintains Top Food Franchise Title in Entrepreneur

fatAfter enduring a long list of qualifications, Fatburger has kept its title as one of the best franchise brands to invest in. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Fatburger in their 2014 Franchise 500, under Top Food Franchises.

Entrepreneur offers some appreciable advice for those considering a franchise:

“No matter what part of the world you’re in, it pays to do your due diligence before buying a franchise. Read the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and accountant, and talk to existing franchisees to find the right fit for you and your region”.

Interested in owning a Fatburger restaurant? Do your due diligence and head over to the Fat Opportunities page of our website for details on launching your own burger franchise. Good food equals good business!

Taking a Franchise Overseas Isn’t Always Smooth Sailing

Political protests, disease outbreaks, terrorist campaigns, these are just a few on the unforgiving factors U.S. business owners are considering when expanding a franchise internationally. Fatburger has accomplished the impossible by flourishing in some of the world’s most unstable countries. As of today we have opened restaurants in 32 countries since 2007. I recently had the opportunity to chime in with Businessweek about seeking franchise opportunities overseas:

“Consumers all over the world love American brands, especially burgers, shakes and fries. I knew there was a huge opportunity for us overseas.”

Keeping the dangers of some areas overseas at top of mind, I also added…

“We are always concerned about the security of our employees.”

So, we monitor local events to better manage and assess risk. If the risk is too high, we shift focus to another area.

burger-1920x1080Fatbuger opens in Delihi, India (Source: GQ India)

I took a considerable risk with this global expansion plan and made sure to invest time towards market research in each region before opening any stores there.

American Express also joins the conversation on whether global instability can damage your business. Be sure to read the entire article for some great insights on how I’ve adapted to markets around the globe, but here’s a little teaser featuring yours truly:

“You have to have a long-term view of your business relationship country by country in terms of your strategy[.] If your long-term strategy is that you want to be in this market, then you’ve made that commitment and you have to weather it and stay the course. You may not stay with a particular location if it becomes more trouble than it’s worth to deal with. But it doesn’t mean you’re exiting that country.”