On April 11, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opened the 50th Freddy’s restaurant, in Victorville, California. This is the 10th new store in 8 months, demonstrating that while economic recovery has been slow, Freddy’s quality-based model is what the post-recession consumer demands.

“America is now catching up to the values Freddy’s has always had,” says franchisee of the California store, John Pflughoft. “The food is cooked to order, the creamy frozen custard is made fresh all day, and the business model conveys the optimism of a post-war, family-centered ideal. Unlike many chains, Freddy’s has never embraced the concept of deep discounting. Rather, we detect that among consumers, there is a sense of intentional and targeted spending on high quality food and desserts.”

“We’ve proven that people appreciate this unique experience,” says Missy Stevens, marketing director of Freddy’s. “Our winning combination earns the hearts of the public as well as the company’s ever-growing franchise base.  Family oriented and family run, you can taste the quality of our food and appreciate the wholesome and fun atmosphere in every one of our locations. Any one of the stores is a venue where people want to have birthday parties with their kids, spend a lunch on Saturday with the whole family, or just enjoy a savory treat at a great price.”

The company continues to reap the benefits of its product differentiation and casual-dining-like hospitality, surpassing in 2010 the $50 million milestone for system-wide annual sales. Additionally, in February of this year, Freddy’s set a system-wide opening week sales record with the launch of its new franchise store in Grand Island, Nebraska. The day after opening the 50th store, the company tripled its store count from three years prior with the opening of its third store in the Denver market.This growth is compounded by system-wide same-store sales increases for the first fiscal quarter of 2011 in most of its locations that opened prior to 2010. 

The move west is exciting for the Wichita, Kansas–based franchisor. Founded in August 2002 and first franchised in December 2004, the brand is now in eight states throughout the nation with plans to move into at least two more states by the end of the year. Named the fifth-fastest growing chain restaurant operator in the U.S. and Canada by research firm Chain Store Guide in 2010, Freddy’s joins the “over 50” franchise category with the openings this week in California and Colorado. “Opening in California is another important step in our national expansion plan,” says Mark Scholler, vice president of franchise development for Freddy’s. “And we are currently in talks with entrepreneurs interested in markets that would be new for us including Minnesota, Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, and Florida.”

Bill Simon, president of Freddy’s, commented on the growth in relationship to the brand. “We see the connection that people have with Freddy’s and the Freddy persona,” he says. “It’s all about optimism, patriotism, and the upbeat values of our great country and its greatest generation.” 

The walls inside Freddy’s are filled with old, captioned photos of World War II veteran Freddy, his family, and scenes from the era.

“The greater satisfaction our guests receive from the Freddy’s experience, the more our brand grows,” Simon says. “The system sales growth does not appear to be market-specific. We have seen same-store sales increases in a variety of markets, from Enid, Oklahoma, to Cedar Park, Texas, to Glendale, Arizona. We are confident and energized about our entrance into our eighth state with the opening of the 50th Freddy’s in Victorville, California.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Freddy's