The restaurant’s ambition to be the best is exemplified by its to-go packaging for handheld items like the signature Crunchburger, which is topped with American cheese, potato chips, and Bobby’s sauce.
The team recently spent hours examining the existing iteration, looking for slight ways to improve the design. With convenience at top of mind, the group considered how easy it is for consumers to take the burger from the box and also how quickly the item can be placed inside the packaging without affecting presentation.
“Every little aspect of that is really important … because we think about how can we make this easier to do it great over and over again,” Kretchmer says. “The only thing we’re thinking about is how we can improve the guests experience.”
Bobby’s is targeting major metro markets like Charlotte, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Toronto. Overseas may be in play, as well, with the brand leveraging Flay’s international fame.
“The region is important, but it certainly doesn’t come ahead of the quality of the operator,” Kretchmer says. “That is really the most important thing to us.”
Bobby’s can be designed to run as a quick-service or fast-casual concept, depending on real estate. Nontraditional, inline, endcap, and freestanding options are all available.
While the type of buildout will vary, one constant will be each store’s modernized approach. Kretchmer says waiting to franchise gave Bobby’s the ability to understand how consumer preferences are changing, especially through the pandemic.
This means dedicated spaces for pick up orders, drive-thru, and an upcoming loyalty program aimed at membership perks and fewer points of friction.
“Everything is in development, but we have a lot of stuff going on,” he says. “We’re very mindful of how the playing field has changed.”
“We’re in a pretty enviable position because we don’t have any of that old stuff that needs to be kicked to the curb,” he adds. “We get to start fresh, and we’re so excited about all aspects of development.”
Kretchmer prefers not to give an exact number in terms of expansion goals, emphasizing the most important factor is the quality of the franchise partner. Bobby’s is interested in what he calls controlled growth.
“We don’t want to get over our skis,” he says. “We’re going to be really thoughtful and deliberate about the way we grow.”
Whether it’s at a shopping center, in an airport, or on the Vegas strip, consistency is key. That’s what Kretchmer says separates a good concept from one with staying power.
“We're focused on creating a great experience with delicious food and great hospitality every single time,” he says.