Mid-Year Report: The Habit’s Growth is Heating Up

 

After rounding out the first half of 2022, The Habit Burger Grill continues down the path to notable franchise growth.

Now with over 330 restaurants in 14 U.S. states and 11 international locations, we’d like to reflect on achievements and milestones we’ve reached at the mid-point of the year.

In Q1 of 2022, our system sales grew 17 percent year-over-year, fueled by 13 percent unit growth and a 3 percent same-stores sales increase. Plus, over the past six months, we’ve been turning up the heat to open more locations with qualified investors and supporting franchisees in every step of running successful restaurants.

As of June of this year, 20 new Habit Burger Grill restaurants have opened globally, expanding our franchise development footprint in California, North Carolina, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, and Cambodia. Along with openings, The Habit franchise system has secured development agreements in various markets. A recently signed development agreement for 12 new locations in San Bernardino county with Aharon Aminpour is an exciting step towards more multi-unit growth in our home state.

“There are so many advantages to The Habit Burger Grill’s franchise model, the opportunity to help grow the brand’s footprint in Southern California felt like a no-brainer,” said Aminpour.

Rounding out the second quarter, we were ecstatic to have our franchise efforts recognized after being been named a Top Food Franchise and a Top Global Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, ranking #116 in the Top Global Franchises category and #6 in the “Best of: Hamburgers” ranking. In addition, earlier this year, The Habit Burger Grill was not only named as a “Best Buy” franchise, but a finalist in the ‘Full Speed Ahead’ category at the Franchise Times annual Zor Awards.

With our innovative menu, extensive training and franchisee support, and all-access digital customer experience, we are thrilled to continue introducing our award-winning and delicious chargrilled burger concept to new and expanding areas from coast-to-coast.

Don’t just take it from us – you can read all about our recent wins in this article from QSR Magazine and visit our website to start your franchise journey with The Habit!

Nurturing Diversity Within The Habit Burger Grill System

For Lee Mitchell, multi-unit franchisee of The Habit Burger Grill, the journey to business ownership started early in his career working as an assistant manager at Taco Bell, our sister brand also under the Yum! Brands umbrella. From a young age, Mitchell knew he was destined to be a business owner. So, while in his managerial position in the restaurant, he simultaneously set out to obtain a master’s degree in business. Through his persistence and dedicated efforts to explore entrepreneurial endeavors, the opportunity for Mitchell to buy a Taco Bell franchise presented itself.

After making the decision to become a franchisee, Mitchell did not look back and has since enhanced his investment portfolio with a signed area development agreement for five new restaurants in Coachella Valley.

Recently, Mitchell participated in a webinar for Global Franchise’s Multi-Unit Month regarding Diversity in Franchising, where he discussed his own journey, how brands can advocate for minorities in franchising, and Yum! Brands’ program to help people of color interested in franchising at the University of Louisville and Howard University.

Watch the full webinar linked here: https://bit.ly/3t9RHWU

Lee Mitchell Global Franchise Webinar

At The Habit Burger Grill, we pride ourselves in lifting up diverse voices and perspectives, championing opportunities for minority franchise owners for the betterment of the system and for committed owners like Mitchell.

Learn more about The Habit Burger Grill’s franchise model and our strong support aspects on our website. Fill out our inquiry form if our established brand sounds like the right venture for you!

A 1-on-1 Conversation with The Habit CEO Russ Bendel

One of the driving forces behind The Habit’s proven model, franchise growth strategy and leading sales performance is CEO Russ Bendel. Bendel first joined The Habit Burger Grill in 2008 and has since helped grow the brand from 16 restaurants to more than 300 locations, while also integrating major brand transformations like our modernized technology platforms and operational tools.

Learn more about Bendel’s triumphant journey with The Habit, his restaurant industry know-how and how he continues to keep the brand’s growth at the forefront in this exclusive Q&A below:

What is one thing that makes you most proud of your time at The Habit?

RB: What’s made me most proud is the opportunities and growth that we’ve created for our team. People who have joined us mid-stage or early in their restaurant industry journeys have the opportunity to grow through playing many different roles. Oftentimes, they take with them skills that they maybe didn’t have before they joined us. The Habit has always been about personal and professional growth, doing good work, and being able to allow our team members to navigate their careers. I’m also incredibly proud to be a part of a team that has seen pronounced success through our development efforts with an increased number of stores and surpassing $700 million in sales.

What differentiates The Habit from other franchise concepts?

RB: The Habit is a concept that falls under the burger category, which is domestically the largest limited-service category of restaurants and has historically been dominated by QSR brands. But, the “better burger” category is much smaller and faster-growing. Consumers today are looking for cooked-to-order meals made with fresh ingredients, which are practices The Habit was built on. It helps that the breadth of our menu is major, with 60% of our offerings being burgers and 40% being other unique menu items. All of these aspects really fit into today’s consumer as they look for inclusive dining options.

Where do you look for inspiration or motivation, and how do you keep your team motivated?

RB: You have to work for an organization and people who share a common passion or belief. Something that resonates with restaurant sector consumers and people is a compelling consumer proposition – working with good people who want to grow and provide opportunities for other individuals. The restaurant industry allows people to enter with various degrees of experience, and can help them grow both personally and professionally. If you are hard-working, passionate and have good sense, growing with a concept like The Habit is encouraged and welcomed.

Bendel’s passion for the hospitality business and longstanding history with our brand has helped create an even more attractive franchise opportunity for prospective investors. Learn more about The Habit’s franchise model on our website and fill out our inquiry form if our powerfully-led brand sounds like the right venture for you!

Q&A with The Habit’s Chief Information Officer Mike Repetti

More than ten years ago, Mike Repetti started his journey with The Habit as the first person in the IT department at store #37. Today, information technology is the second largest department at The Habit Burger Grill, allowing us to focus on enhancing our mobile ordering app which surpassed 1.81 downloads in March of 2022.

Repetti’s drive for innovating The Habit’s tech is evident in the way he speaks about his goals to improve both guest-facing and operator experiences. Below, hear from him on multiple aspects of The Habit’s tech differentiators and how they evolved over his ten years with the brand:

  1. What are the main technological aspects that differentiate The Habit Burger Grill from other fast-casual burger concepts?

    MR: The Habit is a very operator-centric company, and we really put our money where our mouth is when using technology as a strategic advantage. The brand in general is very operations-focused and it helps that my team and I have experience in that aspect. We acquire technology and we optimize it for our goals, like automating the system so our people can spend that time focusing on guests, rather than tech issues.

  2. How would you say The Habit mobile app has enhanced owner operations?

    MR: When we started on our digital journey, we made a very conscious decision to remain customer service oriented in-store. We didn’t want to just have a utilitarian ordering app. So, we invented the concept of digital hospitality, to portray the smiling welcoming cashier through our app too. We added a lot of features in the app that are popular with the guests – favoriting items, accessing previous orders, the ability to pay in 2-3 steps—we even send texts to guests to let the know when the order is ready or when we receive the order. It enhances the ordering experience.

  3. How do you see The Habit’s technology advancing or changing in 2022 to keep up with online order demands amid the pandemic?

    MR: We were in better shape than most concepts when the pandemic hit because we made the decision early-on to invest in our digital journey and tech stack. Soon after the lock downs began, we quickly rolled out pop-up drive thrus within the first 10 days and family meal bundles within 30 days. We pivot quickly and we’re known for it. From an operator standpoint, one of the things we do best is multi-channel innovation. Restaurant operators need a way to turn off digital orders or limit hours if there’s a staffing issue, supply chain issue, plumbing issue, etc. In order to manage all those variables, we built a platform that does all of that, while others may have to log in to 6-7 different systems to make those changes.

Learn more about The Habit’s franchise model on our website and fill out our inquiry form if our technologically innovative brand sounds like the right investment opportunity for you!

Franchise Times Names 10 Top Franchises to Buy

Investigate before investing. It’s simple enough advice, but prospective franchisees are often unsure where to start. Should passion or practicality be the deciding factor? Is an emerging or mature system the way to go? Sifting through thousands of brands in a multitude of industry segments can prove daunting, even for seasoned business professionals—and more so for first-time franchisees. That’s where the Franchise Times Zor Awards project comes in.

Read More about Franchise Times Names 10 Top Franchises to Buy

Nation’s Restaurant News: The Habit Burger Grill heats up growth in California with signed franchise area development agreement

Known for its signature Charburgers and incomparable fast-casual dining experience, the popular Southern California-based The Habit Burger Grill has announced that it has recently signed a Franchise Area Development Agreement with experienced entrepreneur Stan Singh. Singh has purchased five restaurants and will open an additional eight new locations in South Riverside County, California.

Read More about Nation's Restaurant News: The Habit Burger Grill heats up growth in California with signed franchise area development agreement

Franchise Times: Hard Work, Serendipity Propel Yum Franchisee Shawn Shariff

Yum Brands franchisee Shawn Shariff is no stranger to hard work. When he came to America from Pakistan in the ’80s, he jumped right into KFC and his first Yum Brands job. From the get-go, he was working 50 to 60 hours a week. Today, he owns five restaurants in Southern California across Yum’s brands, making him the first franchisee in the system to have stores in KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and now The Habit Burger Grill.

Read More about Franchise Times: Hard Work, Serendipity Propel Yum Franchisee Shawn Shariff

Fast Casual: The Habit Burger Grill aims for growth in East, West Coast markets

The Habit Burger Grill, a fast casual chain specializing in charbroiled hamburgers, plans to continue expansion, hitting markets in New England, California, Las Vegas, New Jersey and Seattle, according to a company press release.

The Habit Burger Grill Opens First Location in Massachusetts – Join For An Exclusive Tasting!

 

The Habit Burger Grill Opens in Wilmington, MA on October 7, 2020

 

(Irvine, CA) October 5th, 2020 – Over 50 years ago, America’s best burger was born in Santa Barbara, California, and now the award-winning, delicious taste of The Habit Burger Grill is coming to Wilmington, Massachusetts! The California-based restaurant company renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame, signature sandwiches, fresh-cut salads and more announces the highly anticipated opening on October 7th. Located at 196 Ballardvale St. Wilmington, MA 01887, the fast-casual restaurant will be the first location in the state of Massachusetts with franchise partner Heidi Burgers.

 

In honor of the exciting grand opening, The Habit Burger Grill is hosting exclusive pre-opening VIP events for The Habit’s CharClub members.  Guests can receive an invite to these tasty sneak peeks by signing up for the CharClub at www.habitburger.com/wilmington.

 

  • Free Charburger Day (10/3): From 11:30a.m. – 1:30p.m. and 5:00p.m – 7:00p.m. guests will receive a free Charburger, fries, and a drink. Must be a CharClub member and present VIP invitation.
  • Free Habit Day (10/4): From 11:30a.m. – 1:30p.m. and 5:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. guests will receive a handcrafted meal from one of The Habit’s preset menus. Must be a CharClub member and present VIP invitation.
  • Free Habit Day (10/6): From 11:30a.m. – 1:30p.m. guests will receive a handcrafted meal from one of The Habit’s preset menus, which include Charburgers, signature sandwiches, fresh-cut salads and more. Must be a CharClub member and present VIP invitation.

 

Upon opening, this location will offer drive-thru ordering, indoor and patio dining and takeout. Guests have additional convenient ordering options including indoor kiosks and contactless curbside pick-up via The Habit Mobile App, and online at order.habitburger.com.

 

The Habit Burger Grill is California’s best-kept secret, as it was recently named in Thrillist’s list of “Underrated Burger Chains that Need to be in Every State!” At the center of The Habit’s menu is the signature Charburger, made with a fresh 100% ground beef patty, chargrilled for unique flavor, and topped with cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, fresh tomato slices, crisp lettuce and mayo served on a toasted bun. The Habit has been serving the best tasting burger in America exactly this way since 1969.

 

“We’re thrilled to partner with Heidi Burgers to open our first Habit Burger Grill in Massachusetts. We are looking forward to welcoming the Wilmington community and introducing our award-winning, flame-grilled Charburgers to them,” said Iwona Alter, Chief Brand Officer at The Habit Burger Grill.

 

“We are so excited to bring The Habit Burger Grill to the greater Boston area. From the brand’s Southern California vibe to best-in-class hospitality and handcrafted food chargrilled over an open flame, we are eager to welcome the community to dine with us,” said Adam Quinn, Chief Operating Officer at Heidi Burgers.

 

With its cooked-to-order mantra and creative culinary culture, The Habit Burger Grill’s open flame sears a distinctive smoky flavor into their famous Charburgers, fresh marinated chicken, sushi-grade Ahi tuna and USDA Choice tri-tip steaks. Additionally, with two family meal bundles offered at an unbeatable value, serving the whole family has never been this easy. Guests at The Habit Burger Grill can always count on freshly-made, handcrafted quality served up with genuine hospitality.

 

This Habit Burger Grill’s dining room and drive-thru will be open Monday through Sunday 10:30a.m. – 9:00p.m.

 

Connect with The Habit Burger Grill on social media at facebook.com/habitburger, instagram.com/habitburgergrill, twitter.com/habitburger, and youtube.com/habittube.

 

About The Habit Restaurants, Inc.

The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and handcrafted sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit Burger Grill was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit Burger Grill opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 and was recently named in Thrillist’s list of “Underrated Burger Chains that Need to be in Every State!” The Habit Burger Grill has since grown to over 275 restaurants in 14 states throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington as well as eight international locations. More information is available at www.habitburger.com.

 

The Habit Burger Grill Press Contact:

Autumn Communications, HabitBurger@autumncommunications.com

 

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The Habit Burger Grill Announces Mouth-Watering New Menu Item – Chicken Caprese on Garlic Ciabatta

The Italian-inspired new sandwich is available beginning on September 9th for a limited time only

 

Irvine, CA (September 9, 2020)The Habit Burger Grill, the California-based restaurant company renowned for its award-winning Charburgers, signature sandwiches, hand-cut salads and more announces its latest limited time offering, The Chicken Caprese on Garlic Ciabatta Sandwich.  Featuring a juicy, marinated chargrilled chicken breast cooked over an open flame on freshly toasted garlic ciabatta with ripe tomatoes and fresh-cut lettuce. Topped with melted mozzarella cheese and scratch-made basil pesto aioli, the Chicken Caprese on Garlic Ciabatta is full of layers of flavor that all come together to create this delicious Italian-inspired sandwich.

“The Chicken Caprese on Garlic Ciabatta has a crave-worthy Italian twist that is irresistible, making it the perfect addition to The Habit’s award-winning, chargrilled menu,” said Adam Baird Executive Chef at The Habit Burger Grill.

 

At The Habit Burger Grill, all items are crafted with care and created by a classically-trained chef. With its made-to-order mantra and creative culinary culture, the Chicken Caprese on Garlic Ciabatta delivers on The Habit’s high standards when it comes to quality ingredients and fresh flavor. The Habit has been cooking fresh marinated chicken and more over an open flame since 1969 to sear in their signature smoky flavor in every bite. The chargrilled Chicken Caprese on Garlic Ciabatta is a one-of-a-kind culinary experience you can’t find anywhere else.

The Habit Burger Grill restaurants offer patio dining, mobile ordering on The Habit Mobile App, contactless curbside service, delivery and drive-thru options to maximize convenience and minimize contact. Please visit habitburger.com to find out which services your local Habit Burger Grill offers.

 

Connect with The Habit Burger Grill on social media at facebook.com/habitburger, instagram.com/habitburgergrill, twitter.com/habitburger, and youtube.com/habittube.

 

About The Habit Restaurants, Inc.

The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and handcrafted sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit Burger Grill was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit Burger Grill opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 and was recently named in Thrillist’s list of “Underrated Burger Chains that Need to be in Every State!” The Habit Burger Grill has since grown to over 275 restaurants in 13 states throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington as well as seven international locations. More information is available at www.habitburger.com.

 

The Habit Burger Grill Press Contact:

Autumn Communications, HabitBurger@autumncommunications.com

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