bannerFranchisor Stories

How Famous Toastery Shows Restaurants Are One of the Most Recession-Resistant Businesses

With a locally-Famous and award-winning reputation, the better breakfast, brunch and lunch brand has proven to fare well against the past two downturns in the economy.

In 2005, childhood friends Robert Maynard and Brian Burchill were ready to follow their passion for food and finally open a restaurant of their own. But this wouldn’t be just any greasy spoon. The idea was to start a gourmet breakfast and lunch brand that would serve “Famously Fresh” food made daily. After opening in Huntersville, North Carolina, and ultimately moving to a larger storefront in nearby Davidson, the Famous Toastery brand was born. Since then, the concept has been franchised and expanded to 26 locations all over the Southeast, weathering not one but two economic downturns with the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Restaurants fare better than most industries during recessions,” said Eric Gustafsson, Famous Toastery VP of Franchise Development. “Of the last six recessions post-World War II, there has only been a dip in restaurant revenue two times: COVID-19 and 2008. The restaurant industry is relatively recession-proof, and Famous Toastery even more so.”

According to Technomic, the foodservice industry has always weathered those downturn storms rather effectively. During the Great Recession, the industry only saw an annualized decline of only 0.1%, an within only a couple of years, the business was in a robust growth phase

There are several reasons for the resiliency of the foodservice industry. For one, other essential segments such as healthcare and education remain unchanged during a recession, which in turns brings business to restaurants. Additionally, the need for convenience and experiences do not diminish during a recession, which helps bolster demand within the restaurant industry.

“The restaurant industry is relatively recession-resistant because it is the last luxury people cut out of their lives during tough times,” said Gustafsson. “It is much easier to cancel Netflix than cut out your favorite place to go out to eat and get away. People also like to be served. As much as people like to stay home and cook, the rising costs of food at the grocery store is making it less economical to eat at home.” 

It's true — the inflation rate for food at home continues to exceed that of foodservice inflation, making the perceived value of foodservice purchases appear even greater than during past economic downturns. 

“People still like to go out and have their meals, maybe not as often, but we can use this as a period of time to get more people to try us for the first time,” said Gustafsson.

And Famous Toastery isn’t just another restaurant concept, Gustafsson says. The brand prides itself on providing a consumer offering that stands out from the competition, with fresh, made-to-order menu items and next-level customer service at all locations. This has allowed the restaurants to become locally Famous as pillars in their communities, providing not only uncompromisingly fresh and decadent meals but a hub for friends, families and neighbors to get together.

In a world where everyone is trying to connect following the pandemic, the demand for community-driven and delicious restaurant experiences is stronger than ever, giving Famous Toastery franchisees even more insulation from economic tailwinds.

“There is a social aspect to it as well,” said Gustafsson. “Meeting friends at a restaurant, going out for drinks or brunch — these are things people don’t want to give up. We are social beings and just because the economy is struggling doesn’t mean we will change that. People will always need to eat and will always order from their favorite restaurants, which is why Famous Toastery has withstood the test of time and will continue to do so for years to come.”

The proof is in the pudding — this year, despite inflationary pressures, the breakfast, brunch and lunch concept saw same stores sales increase 15% year-over-year, achieved an AUV of $1.4 million and had four franchisees report over $2 million in sales. 

Now, for entrepreneurs looking to open a recession-resistant and proven business in their community, the time has never been better to join the Famous Toastery family as the brand aims to reach its goal of 50 units by 2024.

The cost to open a Famous Toastery franchise ranges from $575,500 to $999,500, including a franchise fee starting at $45,000. To learn about franchising opportunities, please visit