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Raintree Gives Franchising Newcomer Cheba Hut a Head Start

By outsourcing its sales efforts, the newly franchised sandwich brand has quickly ramped up its development.

By Ben Warren1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:22PM 10/03/19

Colorado-based sandwich brand Cheba Hut has been a crowd favorite in its home state of Colorado for two decades, and in that time it has slowly expanded its footprint, establishing about 20 locations throughout six other states. This year, the brand’s leadership decided to dramatically increase its development efforts by taking on franchise partners to open stores in a host of new territories. To support that growth spurt, Cheba Hut partnered with franchise sales firm Raintree.

Like Cheba Hut, Raintree is based out of Colorado, but Cheba Hut’s chief relationship officer, Seth Larsen, says that’s not the only reason it was chosen to support the franchise’s development strategy.

“We definitely like that they are local to Colorado,” he said. “We always want local business partners. But more importantly, they are an industry leader, and they work with a lot of other strong franchise brands.”

Prior to partnering with Raintree, Larsen says Cheba Hut had no trouble generating interest from prospective franchisees. In fact, it had the opposite problem, attracting so much interest that the development team didn’t have the bandwidth to separate the strong leads from the poor ones. That’s where Raintree’s support became paramount.

“The main problem Raintree solved for us was bringing qualified leads to the table,” Larsen said. “We’ve had no problems finding people who want to sign up. The food is great and we are a hip brand, but not everyone who likes our sandwiches is going to have the wherewithal to open up three stores. We don’t have the time, team or process to pick through thousands of inquiries and narrow down to a few candidates to bring to our Discovery Day. Raintree does that for us.”

Cheba Hut brought on Raintree just a few months ago, and Larsen says the partnership has already yielded big results.

“We are getting more qualified candidates through the process than ever before,” he said. “They do exactly what they say they are going to do.”

Though Cheba Hut has primarily charged Raintree with implementing its existing development strategy, Larsen says his team has also used the consultants to help refine more high-level strategic efforts, including marketing.

“They helped us redesign our growth website and our development marketing materials,” he said. “That’s gone a long way to attracting the best possible candidates. We also lean on them for recommendations for people, strategy and process. They are always keen to help with anything we may call on them for.”

Crucially, Larsen says everyone on the Raintree team is readily available, something Cheba Hut strives for in its own organization.

“Every single person on their team, from top to bottom, is always available for us,” he said. “We operate the same way at Cheba Hut, and that’s important to us. It’s an excellent culture over there. Their team is just awesome.”

Larsen says Cheba Hut has no plans to slow down its development efforts anytime soon, and as it continues to expand into new markets, Raintree will continue to be an essential partner in finding the best-qualified franchisee candidates.

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