Future franchisees will have two boxes to choose from—a 3,500-5,500-square-foot brick-and-mortar restaurant and a 800-square-foot drive-thru-only container model. The latter version will have a shorter lead time to getting open and will be less of an investment for operators, including a 50 percent cut on labor costs. And that’s without sacrificing sales.
The container model is for heavily trafficked parking lots outside of large grocery store chains that are easily accessible from main roads. Beef-A-Roo will open its first container restaurant in Rose City, Michigan, later this year.
“Sales through the pandemic, which a lot of restaurants took a huge hit on, really weren't impacted at Beef-A-Roo’s because of the ability to do most of their sales through drive-thru,” Rosen says. “So we really felt like it was a good fit for this concept.”
The fast casual has received interest for both prototypes. Looking into her crystal ball, Rosen would like to believe Beef-A-Roo’s future footprint will be split 50/50 between the two, but the specific market will be the true deciding factor.
Being on the West Coast, she’s familiar with the rise of Dutch Bros Coffee and how the chain is “expanding like crazy” (the concept opened a record-breaking 98 stores last year) because of its small store footprint and convenient drive-thru. Then again, Rosen knows there will always be room for sit down. To her point, quick-service brands like Jack in the Box and Wingstop have pointed to open dining rooms as the next step in building sales.
“I think there's room in the market for both,” Rosen says.
Beef-A-Roo is looking to expand in the Midwest and Southeast, in states like Michigan, Illinois, Texas, and Florida. The brand is primarily looking for franchisees that could commit to three to five units, which could be a hybrid of container and traditional, or entirely brick-and-mortar. However, the restaurant won’t turn away those interested in opening one store.
Capoferi says the first franchise deal could be struck soon.
“There's absolutely nowhere to go but up. We truly believe that this could be a household name across the U.S. very quickly—that is how much we believe in it, how much we love the brand,” Capoferi says. “And I'm not just saying that because I'm the president of this company. I'm saying that because I am 100 percent behind it. We don't get involved with anything that we don't believe in and that we're not behind, and we’re not just in this to make money. We want to build this out to be able to take this brand to other states, to other people, and help those franchises succeed.”