“And we think a lot of that stems from, No. 1, we have a very long term and diverse and successful franchisee base. Many of whom are growing from within the system by adding locations. The majority of our growth is from existing franchises,” he says.
Britt says there’s room for as many as 100 incremental units in California alone. Otherwise, the plan calls for adjacent, intelligent growth. “Last thing we want to do is open up in far-flung locations and not be able to supply the system with product and not be able to support the brand. We’re going to move incrementally,” he says.
There’s an Oregon franchisee interested in expanding. Utah. Nevada. Arizona has potential, Britt adds. “The question for us is how to do it intelligently and with a high degree of predictability of success. So we’re going to move in as expeditious a fashion as we can, but only when we’re sure we can be successful.”
“And we have time to do that,” he adds.
Mountain Mike’s is a 100 percent franchised system that structures its base with five development agents. Three of them have been with the company for more than 25 years.
They’re all current or former multi-unit franchisees who support Mountain Mike’s corporate team with its franchising development—training, operational support, and everything in between. These development agents own about 20 restaurants. And while those units might not technically be corporate stores per say, Britt says, they rely on those locations to test new ideas and ideate others, including the brand’s recent wings platform.
Each agent serves territories. They develop franchisees, locate real estate, find new sites, provide support, and offer input and operational guidance to operators. “They help facilitate transfers when necessary and appropriate,” Britt says. “Franchise renewals. So they’re very much close partners with the franchisor organization and all those activities.”