Inflation in America remains high, but one restaurant company defied the odds and successfully opened a company-record 142 restaurants in 2022, amounting to over 2,300 locations worldwide.
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Despite the unprecedented success, Fat Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn remains steadfast in his fight against inflation, saying Friday that the company is doing “everything (they) can to lower the cost of food” for consumers.
“You have to provide value to the consumer. You can’t just say to the consumer, hey, we raised our price on a hamburger by a dollar today, and you’re going to have to pay that price because everyone else has raised their price by a dollar You have to give them some value,” Wiederhorn explained during an appearance on “Mornings with Maria.”
“Figure out what that is. Whether that’s a discount on something or giving them a two-for-one, some other kind of deal, on a special, limited-time basis. Just to make them feel valued because it’s not fair to stick them with higher prices “, he continued.
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Fat Brands is a leading global franchising company that develops fast-casual and casual food concepts. Fat Brands currently has 17 different franchises, including Johnny Rockets, Fatburger, Great American Cookies, Twin Peaks and more. In 2022, Fat Brands opened more than 140 restaurants and expects to “grow rapidly” in 2023, setting the bar extremely high.
“We’re growing fast. We’re going to open 175 more restaurants this year after 2022, where we opened more than 140. So very, very strong demand from franchise partners to open more restaurants. Huge pipeline. We have 1,000 stores in Our pipeline will be built within the next five years. So very excited about it,” Wiederhorn said Friday.
Commercial real estate remains a source of concern for many business owners, however, Wiederhorn remained adamant that his company has seen steady demand.
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“We’re really seeing demand. We’ve got over 100 restaurants under construction right now and we’ll be up to 175 by the end of the year. So franchisees are going out and leasing locations. If they can get a better deal because the prices are lower, good for them .And it just makes the long-term deal an even better equation,” he told Maria Bartiromo.
Wiederhorn concluded by paying tribute to consumers, attributing the company’s “incredible” pandemic recovery to customers’ desire to dive back into the restaurant business.
“The recovery from the levels of COVID has been incredible. We’ve seen customers come out to restaurants in droves everywhere. And so at our sports bars like Twin Peaks or our burger joints like Johnny Rockets or Fatburger or Round Table Pizza, you’ve really seen customers coming back to the restaurants instead of just doing delivery and to-go,” he said.
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“It’s been a great experience to see people wanting to be out and in the restaurants. And I think that just drives the narrative of the franchisees that they want. They see the restaurants going down. They want to build more stores. They have commitments to build more. We’re going to grow the our profitability – our EBITDA – from about $90 million last year, to up to $150 million in the next few years as we build these thousands of our pipelines. So it’s a big opportunity for us.” he explained.
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