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How Sunny Street Café Appeals to All Ages and Consumers by Avoiding the Boozy Brunch Space and Serving Feel-Good Food in a Comfortable Atmosphere

As a family-run restaurant franchise, the breakfast and lunch brand is all about comfort — offering a made-from-scratch menu of classic favorites between the hours of 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM in an environment as welcoming as mom’s home.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 11:11AM 08/03/23

When Michael J. Stasko Sr. decided to invest in his own restaurant, the goal was to work alongside his daughter and two sons to create a bright spot for the breakfast and lunch crowd. So, the family got together and opened a breakfast and lunch restaurant called Sunny Street Café, which offered a menu that had a little something for everyone in a welcoming atmosphere open between the family-friendly hours of 6:30 AM and 2:30 PM. The experience of running the restaurant was so positive, Stasko Sr. decided to purchase the entire company. Today, led by multiple generations of the Stasko family, Sunny Street Cafe has grown to 23 corporate and franchised restaurants throughout five states in the U.S. 

“Within communities, these restaurants become a place for business meetings, family get-togethers and weekend brunches,” said President Scott Moffitt. “Breakfast is how you start your day, and our whole mission is about making your days better. If we do that right, we will always have repeat customers coming back day after day. Now, we have wide open franchise growth opportunities in several markets we have already seeded — like Columbus and Dallas — and entrepreneurs have an opportunity to join a feel-good, family-driven brand as we gear up for our next stage of growth.”

All About Family 

Stasko Sr.’s vision for the original Sunny Street Café was a family-focused restaurant, and that mission stays true today in every aspect of the business, from the leadership team to the menu and from the team members to the atmosphere. His sons, Mike Stasko Jr. and Matthew Stasko, serve as the Vice President of Brand Strategy, and the Corporate Chef & Field Trainer, respectively. His daughter Maria Swallie serves as the Director of Off-Premise Business Development for the growing restaurant franchise. All of them have been involved with the brand since Stasko Sr. first purchased it. . 

“Mike always wanted this to be a family business, which really aligns with the breakfast-lunch lifestyle,” said Moffitt. “This is a family-owned business with a great culture.” 

Today, this home-spun and all-in-the-family atmosphere has become a staple of Sunny Street Café and is a primary reason guests continue to come back day-after-day. Since the breakfast category is full of so many regulars, Moffitt says that excellent customer service, and therefore excellent employee retention, are a big priority. 

“We have some employees celebrating their 15-year anniversary with us,” said Moffitt. “That doesn’t happen by accident. As owners, we’re passionate about what we do, and we want that passion to trickle down to our staff. It is a fun, positive work environment where everyone from dishwashers to servers can enjoy the lifestyle, have time to pick up the kids from school and work their way up the ladder.”

The Sunny Street Café Menu

The Stasko family wasn’t interested in creating another average, run-of-the-mill breakfast and lunch chain like all those other national, all-day players. They aimed to separate themselves from the crowd without ever straying too far from what people love. In other words, Moffitt says, homestyle American fare, but with a twist.

“These are options that are elevated past something consumers could make in their own kitchen,” said Moffitt. “It is comfort food. These are the items people crave — eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes — along with some unexpected twists.”

The Sunny Street Café breakfast menu, for example, features many of the standard staples, such as the classic hearty breakfast plate, the Denver omelet and homemade corn beef hash. But it also offers a few “tasty concoctions” and Tex Mex go-to’s, including loaded hash browns, breakfast quesadillas and cinnamon roll pancakes. 

The chain also has a lunch menu with favorites like the monterey ranch chicken wrap, the bistro burger and the fancy grilled cheese, as well as a specials menu of fresh, made-from-scratch creations that are tailored for dine-in, delivery or to-go service, including Maria’s huevos rancheros, the banana crunch waffle breakfast and the super brunch torta. Sunny Street Café is also a popular choice for catering, whether it be for business meetings, family parties or any other event. 

This diverse spread appeals to a wide range of demographics and age groups, Moffitt says. Seniors love the classics, Millennials and Gen Zers love the innovative specials and even the youngest members of the family can satisfy their cravings thanks to Sunny Street Café’s kids menu

A Brighter Future Ahead

Today, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the $11.5 billion breakfast category is only becoming more relevant as consumers look to enjoy community-driven restaurant experiences. While legacy all-day breakfast chains are losing their luster, family-run concepts that offer delicious options and a community-driven atmosphere, like Sunny Street Café, are only getting started. 

“This is a family business, so our vision is about opening restaurants that are successful, creating jobs and building regular places so local communities have a second home,” said Moffitt. “It is our people-first mentality that helps us build restaurants that provide great food at a great price with great service.”

The Sunny Street Cafe team aims to award two to four new units by the end of 2023, targeting southern U.S. markets like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The ideal franchisee could be a single-unit or multi-unit owner, and while they don’t need restaurant experience, the key is that they understand the importance of the brand’s family-oriented culture. 

The total investment necessary to start a Sunny Street Café franchise comes in at $464,545-$1,307,514 with a franchise fee of $35,000. For more information, visit: https://www.sunnystreetCafé.com/franchise/