Restaurant brands of all services and sizes are struggling to get through the business downturn in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. While some larger chains might have more cash on hand and other resources to help their stores stay open through the pandemic, some have decided to turn off the lights and furlough employees until the economy can recover. And while some independents are scrappier and more flexible in overcoming the challenges thrown at them by the outbreak, many are too strapped for cash to keep their employees and their rent paid.
Somewhere in the middle are emerging brands—those multiunit concepts that have two to 10 locations and lots of growth momentum, but which nonetheless are affected by coronavirus in their own unique ways.
Four Foods Group specializes in emerging-brand operations. The Utah-based company, supported by the Savory Fund, is an incubator for foodservice concepts, acquiring them in the 2–10-unit range and then supercharging them with growth capital and executive experience. Today, Four Foods owns four brands—Mo’ Bettahs, R&R Barbeque, Swig, and The Soda Shop—and operates 45 restaurant locations across three states.
Alonso Castaneda, vice president of brand development and strategy for Four Foods, joined QSR on the Fast Forward podcast to talk about his tips for emerging-brand operators to survive the global coronavirus pandemic. He says those operators have plenty of resources at their fingertips to support them in this time.
“Don’t fight this yourself. Within your company, there are moments of frustration where you’re thinking, What am I going to do? What’s going to happen?” he says. “Don’t keep that to yourself. Reach out. People are there to help you.”
That includes Four Foods Group. To better help emerging operators, Four Foods is hosting a webinar on Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m. EST to share tips on what the company has done so far to pivot and survive in this difficult business climate. To participate in the free webinar, click here. And stream the Fast Forward episode above to hear more tips from Castaneda.