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FAT Brands Targets Texas and other Southern States as Key Growth Markets for Fatburger, Fazoli’s and Round Table Pizza

As the FAT Brands profile continues to grow rapidly, the multi-brand restaurant franchisor has its sights set on the Lone Star State due to its business-friendly economy, available real estate and well-established restaurant market.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 7:19PM 06/30/22

FAT Brands, a leading global franchising company with over 2,300 restaurants worldwide, has spent previous years acquiring and developing some of the most sought-after fast casual, QSR, casual and polished casual dining brands in franchising. Now, it looks to leverage its diverse portfolio of brands to support extensive franchisee growth, aiming to exceed 2,500 restaurants in 2023. With this goal in mind, the team has identified several target markets primed for growth, including Texas. 

“We know markets like Texas are very conducive to business,” said Taylor Wiederhorn, Chief Development Officer at FAT Brands. “The economics are strong and there are a lot of prime real estate opportunities to develop locations, including drive-thrus or different restaurant models that can increase revenue and profitability for our potential franchise partners.”

Texas has the ninth-largest economy in the world because of the state’s business-friendly climate and robust infrastructure. Not only is it great for small business owners, but it is also seeing a massive influx in residents following the pandemic-fueled housing boom. The Houston metro area, for example, is home to 6,603,000 people, which is a 1.73% increase from its population in 2021. The Dallas metropolitan area, which is home to 7.5 million people, has grown by more than 120,000 people since the pandemic, making it the fastest-growing metro area last year in the United States. 

Additionally, as the population grows, commercial real estate construction is also picking up at breakneck speed within Texas. Houston had the highest volume of commercial real estate transactions of any city in the country in 2021, and Dallas came in at No. 3. For companies like FAT Brands, this means more opportunities to secure prime real estate locations.  

All of these factors equate to a particularly hot restaurant market in Texas. According to IBIS World, the revenue of the fast food restaurant market in Texas came in at $34.8 billion in 2022, and is expected to increase 7.3% by the end of the year.

“Restaurants in Texas tend to have some of the highest AUVs in the industry,” said Wiederhorn. “Part of our thinking was — the more stores we open in these markets, the more interest we get. The best thing for new growth is to have potential franchisees try the product and experience the brand first-hand.”

FAT Brands currently owns 17 restaurant brands: Round Table PizzaFatburgerMarble Slab CreameryJohnny RocketsFazoli’sTwin Peaks and more. While some concepts already have an established presence in Texas, others offer franchisees the opportunity to tap into wide-open territory availability and be the first to market. Overall, Wiederhorn says the primary strategy is to open restaurants in any market that makes sense for the individual brand and more importantly the franchisee. Some of the brands they are looking to grow in Texas include: Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express, Fazoli’s and Round Table Pizza. Along with further establishing FAT Brands’ presence in the market for many of their brands, they see great opportunity in expanding upon the growth of brands who already have a strong footprint in Texas such as Twin Peaks, Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery.

“For many of our concepts, there is a great opportunity to go into these underserved markets and provide the customer base an experience they aren't already getting,” said Wiederhorn. “And a lot of our brands are iconic. People get excited when they enter a new market. Johnny Rockets, Fatburger, Marble Slab Creamery, Great American Cookies, Round Table Pizza —these are all first in their category and people are big fans even if they don't live in a market where there currently is a location.”

Best of all, franchisees do not have to start with just a single brand or location; people can come into the system and choose multiple different concepts. Multi-unit operators in turn are paired with a management team that works to help them grow and expand wherever possible. And, should a franchisee fully saturate a single brand within their market, management can support them in pivoting to another brand within FAT Brands. 

Those shared resources extend even to the store level, where co-branded franchise opportunities allow franchisees to offer two restaurants in one unit, with one streamlined operational model, potentially doubling revenue without increasing overhead. 

Now, as the FAT Brands team looks to leverage this impressive portfolio to accelerate franchise growth, Wiederhorn says the main focus is on finding the right franchisees and providing them with all of the support and resources they need to develop in a new market.

“Our success is dependent on the franchisee and the candidate we decide to do business with,” said Wiederhorn. “We offer franchisees real estate support, which means someone will come in and help them find the location, vet the site and design the restaurant. We also set up the supply chain and purchasing to ensure franchisees have access to the most competitive pricing possible. From there, we will send franchisees to training, help them with marketing support, operational support and introduce them to third party financing companies FAT already has relationships with. With FAT Brands, you are not getting into business for yourself and by yourself. It's for yourself and with significant support.”

In addition to Texas, Wiederhorn says the FAT Brands team is seeking passionate and growth-oriented operators in several other markets across the country, including all of Southeastern U.S., Arizona and Northern California. Speaking to FAT Brands’ expansion target areas, they recently signed master franchise deals for Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express throughout the state of Arkansas and in the cities of Orlando, Florida and Tampa Bay, Florida.

Investment ranges for FAT Brands franchises range from $349,000.00 to $5,107,000.00. Learn more about franchising opportunities at https://www.fatbrands.com/.

FAT Brands Company Profile

FAT Brands, Inc operates as a leading global franchising company that strategically acquires, markets, and develops fast casual, quick-service, casual dining, and polished casual dining concepts around the world. The Company currently owns 17 restaurant brands: Round Table Pizza, Fatburger, Marble Slab Creamery, Johnny Rockets, Fazoli’s, Twin Peaks, Great American Cookies, Hot Dog on a Stick, Buffalo’s Cafe & Express, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Pretzelmaker, Elevation Burger, Native Grill & Wings, Yalla Mediterranean and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

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