The Latest Habit News

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:

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!

The Habit Burger Wins Franchise Times Zor Award as Top Brand to Buy

Stan Singh came to the United States from India when he was 18 years old, in 1992, starting as a cook for KFC. “My dream was to have one KFC in the future,” he said, and now he has 20. Based in Riverside in Southern California, he bought five The Habit Burger Grill restaurants in June 2021 with rights to develop eight more.

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Why Franchisees Choose to Grow with The Habit Burger Grill

The Habit Burger Grill continues to expand our franchise footprint, growing into untapped regions and existing markets by teaming up with seasoned restaurant and business professionals.

You may be thinking: why are individuals choosing The Habit as their franchise partner? Let’s take a look at the reasons why franchisees are staking their claim on The Habit Burger Grill territories available.

  1. The Habit’s Extensive & Innovative Menu

    The Habit takes pride in sourcing fresh high-quality ingredients for our award-winning Charburger to our line-caught sushi-grade ahi tuna. Our chargrill sears in the flavor and seasonal creations offer timely, unique options for our guests. We’ve mastered more than just burgers, and as a chef-driven brand, we’re at the forefront of menu innovation with coastal inspired creations that assist in diversifying our entrée mix.

  1. Franchisee Support & Training

    When franchisees sign on to grow with The Habit, we assist them every step of the way so they can feel confident in running great restaurants. We administer comprehensive market development support from day one including operational training guides, instruction of IT systems and everything in between. We don’t leave our franchisees hanging – our ongoing support covers every aspect of the business with industry leading expertise and resources from our renowned parent company, Yum! Brands, Inc.

Adam Quinn, a multi-unit franchisee who is expanding The Habit into New England territories, has boasted about the accessibility to our franchise support system: “The support that I have received from the brand is incredible. From operations, construction, and the development staffs – each have been first class and I’m so proud to be partnering with The Habit Burger Grill for years to come.”

  1. All-Access Digital Customer Experience

    When it comes to incorporating technology into our franchise ownership experience, The Habit is truly ahead of the curve. The Habit Burger Grill franchise opportunity brings forth the potential for multiple revenue streams with in-store, take-out, curbside pick-up and drive thru orders, a high rated mobile app, website and telephone ordering, in-store kiosks, and integrated third-party delivery. Our technology driven operations not only drive efficiency for our customers, employees, and franchisees, but they set us apart from other burger concepts in the quick service restaurant space.

Learn more about The Habit’s franchise model on our website and fill out our inquiry form if our sought-after investment opportunity sounds right 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.

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America’s Favorite Restaurant Chains 2022

There is a restaurant chain in America serving pretty much any kind of food you can think of, from pizza to tacos to sushi to smoothies. There are over 100,000 chain restaurant businesses in the country and last year total sales were about $565 billion.

Read More America's Favorite Restaurant Chains 2022

Entrepreneur Magazine: Shawn Shariff Profile

Q: Why have you stuck with the same franchisor all these years?

A: If you have something good, why rock the boat? I know the brand. I can open [a location] and not be worried about how the operation is going to run. I feel that if I were to go to another brand, I would be downgrading myself. All the franchise coaches we have are really nice people. I’m a five-store operator, but I’ve got 40 people working behind me.

Read More about Shawn Shariff

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