Back Yard Burgers is ready for a comeback and that may mean more locations for the metro.
The Nashville-based company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in late 2012, saddled with about $50 million in debt. But it emerged from the bankruptcy quickly, by early 2013.
Since then, company officials said they have logged 15 consecutive months of same-store revenue increases and now are set to expand.
“We certainly have a proven, loyal brand. We see it as one step at a time — smart growth and looking for someone we can partner with,” said David McDougall, chief executive officer.
The Nashville-based Back Yard Burgers is a quick-service, better burger concept that was founded in 1987. It specializes in made-to-order, hefty, charbroiled Angus burgers, but the menu also includes such items as grilled chicken sandwiches, seasoned french fries, salads, loaded baked potatoes, hand-dipped milkshakes and freshly baked desserts.
It has 68 locations in 14 states, including three in the metro. McDougall would like to have 10 to 20 new restaurants in the next few years and is targeting such metros as Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
He said the company has grown sales by moving away from value menus to offering specials like the Southern Burger (flame-grilled black Angus burger topped with smoky bacon, lettuce, crispy fried pickles and melted house-made pimento cheese on a toasted potato bun), and sides like its fried pickles.
Gene Scassellati has been an area Back Yard Burgers franchisee for 17 years and owns locations in Blue Springs, Independence and Lee’s Summit.
“We are showing consistent increases in sales for two years,” Scassellati said. “Customers like new things, new products, so that really helped. When our sales go up, our profits go up and that’s going to allow us to do a lot more — advertising, remodeling, building new restaurants.”
Back Yard Burgers has signed on with SMB Franchise Advisors LLC, based in a suburb of Philadelphia, which will help identify potential franchisees.
“We’re excited about the expansion of the brand and about what David has done in the turnaround for the last 18 months,” said Steve Beagelman, chief executive officer of SMB. “We think it is going to be a good brand to grow and expand.”
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