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Sobelmans Pub & Grill: The Anti-Franchise Franchise

How the growing Milwaukee-based brand has committed to differentiating itself in the franchise industry through strong local character and community involvement.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSORED 12:12PM 06/30/17

Since opening their first restaurant in the late 1990s, Milwaukee locals Dave and Melanie Sobelman have built a successful brand engrained in the communities they serve. This led to a fan following that sings the praises of its crave-able burgers, Bloody Mary’s piled high with toppings ranging from pickles to fried chicken and various flavored cheeseballs to friends and family across the country.

When he decided to franchise, Dave Sobelman knew he couldn’t sacrifice the character he established at existing restaurants as the brand grew. He needed to maintain the quality of the product, neighborhood feel and high caliber of service of the brand he built. Therefore, Sobelmans Pub & Grill is more “anti-franchise” than franchise.

“As we look to expand, we want to build restaurants in historic buildings with character,” Sobelman said. “If you think of restaurants in malls or strip malls, it feels a little cold and impersonal. We want to be part of the neighborhood and I would be disconnecting myself from our loyal guests if we opened in a strip mall.”

For some, limiting site selection for restaurants to landmark buildings may seem intimidating, but for Sobelman, it is worth the extra effort. As an emerging franchisor, he has the ability to spend extra time and attention on new franchisees and locations that will be a perfect fit for the brand.

“I have a mental list of places in the area that would be great for a Sobelmans Pub & Grill location,” he said. “We have proven the longevity of the brand with our existing restaurants, so real estate representatives see the value in working with us, unlike many other restaurant concepts that often don’t last more than five years.”

Sobelman turned to franchising as a way to scale the business because of the proven model and opportunity it provides for individuals looking to add to their business portfolio or those looking to pursue business ownership for the first time. With leaders who are passionate about their products and their people, Sobelmans Pub & Grill wants to take its unique flavors to more communities across the country with the help of enthusiastic food lovers and entrepreneurs.

Sobelmans Pub & Grill opened its first franchise location in early 2017 in Waukesha, Wisconsin and the second franchise location opened in Richfield, Wisconsin soon after. According to Sobelman, plans for growth continue to build momentum.

Prospective owners can expect their initial investment to range from $276,500 to $849,000 including a franchisee fee of $45,000. With enormous potential for growth, Sobelmans Pub & Grill is an ideal opportunity entrepreneurs looking to dive into business ownership. Sobelmans provides all franchisees with comprehensive training, ongoing assistance, marketing materials, site selection and construction support.

“Everything about our brand is simple and down-to-earth,” Sobelman said. “We got where we are through ambition, drive and determination and I truly believe that the quality of owners trickles down to the quality of everyone in the organization including our current and future franchisees.”

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