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Sunny Street Cafe Franchise Hits Double-Digit Sales Growth in 2023

On a mission to be the next great breakfast/brunch franchise, 22-location Ohio-based emerging restaurant franchise reinvents menu, delighting Sunny Street fanatics.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 9:09AM 01/09/24

As 2023 drew to a close, Sunny Street Café®, an emerging brand in the breakfast and lunch franchise segment, celebrated another flagship year with double-digit comp sales increases. 

“We're up double-digits sales across the system for the second year in a row, which is very exciting,” said Mike Stasko, vice president of brand strategy. “The breakfast and lunch segment is continuing to grow but the segment is very underserved, with legacy all-day breakfast chains losing their luster. As a result, our positioning as a franchise segment has strengthened, and we are confident for the future.”

When it comes to some of the reasons behind this growth, Stasko says one of the brightest success stories from this past year comes in the form of Sunny Street Café's flourishing catering program

“There’s not a whole lot of other people in the breakfast space that do catering, outside of a continental breakfast approach, because it isn’t the easiest food to transport,” said Stasko. “We saw the opportunity early on, and spent the time in R&D to create a product and packaging that our café’s could execute and would ‘WOW’ our customers. While others may settle for pre-cooked or bagged eggs, our dedication to cooking eggs and preparing breakfast burritos to order using fresh ingredients sets us apart. Our focus on quality and the ability to meet the untapped demand in the breakfast catering segment has been a cornerstone of our success.”

And the results speak for themselves — in 2023, successful off-premise operations contributed up to 30% of total sales for Sunny Street Café locations, with mature catering programs accounting for upwards of 20% of that figure.

2023 also saw exciting menu innovations at Sunny Street Café, with pancakes taking center stage. Limited-time offerings like S'mores and Pumpkin Pancakes, and the unique “It's Your Birthday” pancakes with homemade cookie crumble and buttercream glaze, have been a hit. 

“Our menu innovation, especially our pancake varieties, have received an overwhelming response, blurring the lines between comfort food and culinary delight,” Stasko said. 

These are just some of the ways that Sunny Street Café has driven record-breaking revenue in the hot breakfast and lunch segment, Stasko says. 

A Revamped Restaurant Design

In addition to new consumer-facing initiatives, Sunny Street Café also rolled out several optimizations behind-the-scenes as well this year. 

Most notably, the brand unveiled a new and improved restaurant design concept, that will be implemented at their upcoming Marion, IL location. The new design features a brighter ambiance, efficient use of space and a designated carry-out area catering to the needs of dine-in and third-party service customers. 

“Our off-premise continues to be extremely strong and has not softened following the pandemic,” said Stasko. “When it comes to our remodel, we had to be cognizant on how our take out business flows within the operation, while making sure the dine-in guests still have a top notch experience. Our new look will enhance the dining experience for guests and present a more affordable option for franchisees.”

In total, three Sunny Street Café locations have already been remodeled in 2023, with three more currently underway and many more to come. 

Building on Franchise Success

Continuing its momentum from 2023, Sunny Street Café has set its sights on franchise growth in 2024.

The brand recently announced a franchise initiative — a 50% reduction in the $5,000 Franchise Fee, now a mere $17,500, paired with an enticing 0% royalty scheme at the onset, gradually escalating over 18 months. This strategic move, aimed at lowering the barrier to entry, has empowered new franchisees with additional operational liquidity during the crucial early stages of ownership.

“Our system is really healthy right now; our franchisees have been able to build generational wealth and get the family involved,” said Stasko. “We have that track record, and now, we’re lessening the burden of upfront costs and cash requirements. This initiative has not only opened doors for new entrepreneurs but also ensured a smoother financial journey in the critical initial months.”

The ideal Sunny Street 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. Looking ahead, Sunny Street Café is targeting southern U.S. markets like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina for continued franchise growth.

“We've not only grown in numbers but also in the hearts of our customers,” said Stasko. “Our commitment to quality and community has been unwavering, and we look forward to what the future holds.”

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