Georgalas reached out to old contacts and a close friend. Eventually, Daddy’s crossed paths with Dr. Ben Litalien, founder of FranchiseWell, an agency that consults with mega groups like UPS and IKEA. The partnership evolved into an investment from Dave Liniger, the co-founder of global real estate franchise RE/MAX. He chose Daddy’s from 200 potential candidates. “Hearing the success stories, hearing the challenges, [Dave] telling us that he’s made every mistake in the book in the last 50 years, but hearing what that’s yielded as far as the success that people were set up for from inside the business and outside, is really what was attractive to us,” Georgalas says.
Daddy’s then set out to design its Houston flagship, a standalone the company says shows potential franchisees an example of the “biggest, baddest thing you could have.” Daddy’s expects to spread mainly as inline or endcap locations, with about 25 percent or so as standalones. “When I’m in the space, it has the gravitas of a legacy brand,” Webb says.
What can’t be lost, however, is why Georgalas pushed his chips in on day one. Webb’s Los Angeles-based catering shop, Taste of Pace, was asked to make sliders and tacos at an event back in 2013 (they weren’t on the menu). She developed a fried chicken sandwich with sriracha mayo, Thai-style slaw, buttermilk fried chicken, and a brioche bun. The food drew a crowd and even the praise of actress and singer Mandy Moore. The following day, Webb called her dad and flippantly mentioned she had a retirement plan. He’d be able to hang in the Venice Pier, wear Hawaiian shirts, and fry chicken. That’s where the name, “Daddy’s,” was born.
Webb’s father, an artist and graphic designer, would actually, in time, craft the Houston store’s interior alongside Harrison, a global consultancy company that’s assisted with development of several familiar restaurant aesthetics, including Fogo de Chão and Maggiano’s.
It’s an authentic-looking shack that mismatches elements of a house, like windows of random sizes, and a door hanging from the dining room ceiling. Think of it as American South with Japanese minimalism as a backbone.
Returning to the food (and Georgalas’ initial inspiration), Webb fine-tuned her sandwich over the years before Georgalas tried it in 2015. He believed Webb found her Shake Shack.
“I told her you should do something with this and she looked at me like I had five heads and she said, ‘well, you should do this with me,’” he says.