Following the beer trail to its source has so far been a solid development model for The Brass Tap, as the craft beer bar franchise recently closed two multi-unit deals in the craft beer havens of Dallas, Texas and Modesto, California. The Brass Tap’s development team renewed its focus on pursuing multi-unit development over the last year and plans to continue its efforts into several other craft beer-focused markets in 2019.
“Multi-unit development is important to us because of the level of sophistication multi-unit operators bring to the brand, both from an operations perspective and a real estate perspective,” said The Brass Tap’s VP of Franchise Development Jamie Cecil.
Established realtor and vendor relationships aren’t the only reason multi-unit franchisees are becoming more prevalent across the franchise industry as a whole. Franchisors tend to prefer multi-unit operators to single-unit operators because of their financial flexibility and business development expertise. Multi-unit franchisees are often invested in more than one brand and franchisors across the board tend to prefer working with one experienced franchisee over multiple people of varying experience levels during the opening process.
For emerging brands like The Brass Tap that operate in a competitive, popular industry, multi-unit owners are best equipped to bring greater speed of expansion to the franchise, which leads to better brand recognition on both a regional and national level and opens the door for further development.
“The franchisees that are signing up for multi-units see the tremendous opportunity in the craft beer bar market and want to take full advantage,” Cecil said. “Instead of seeing someone else come into their area and reap the benefits of their hard work building brand recognition, they are increasingly looking to grow their footprint and command their region.”
One of these franchisees is Sid Patel, the Brass Tap franchisee who just inked a five-unit development deal in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. Patel currently owns and operates a Brass Tap location in Allen, Texas and is looking forward to expanding the brand’s presence throughout the area because of the rate at which craft breweries are continuing to appear not only in the greater Dallas area, but in Texas overall.
Rick Sousa, who signed the Brass Tap’s other Q3 multi-unit deal for Modesto, California, is new to the brand but not the industry. Souza has worked in the food service and manufacturing industry his entire career, most recently in business development for Dust Bowl Brewing Company, a local brewery in Modesto. His expertise in the field and area connections make him well-positioned to see to the success of his five upcoming Brass Tap locations, the first of which is set to open in late 2019.
The Brass Tap plans to ride the wave of momentum from the big Q3 development deals into 2019, continuing the implementation of its aggressive development strategy. Cecil said the brand’s goal is to sign 25 new agreements and open 15-20 new locations over the next year, with a focus on Houston and Chicago and the state of California as a whole for development.
“The craft beer craze in California continues to grow and outpace the rest of the country as the number of localized breweries keeps increasing,” Cecil noted. “Houston and Chicago in particular are growing as well, and we also have units in all of those areas that will help build brand awareness and credibility,” he added.