Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers will open its newest Omaha, Nebraska, location on Thursday, June 9, at 7201 Military Avenue. It will mark the 200th location for the fast-casual franchise, which now operates in 30 states and has experienced an average growth in systemwide sales of 40 percent over the last four years.
The 200th location comes nearly fourteen years after the first Freddy’s restaurant opened in August 2002 at the corner of 21st Street and Tyler Road in Wichita, Kansas, and just two and a half years after the company proudly crossed the 100-restaurant milestone. Cofounders Freddy, Bill, and Randy Simon, along with their friend and business partner, Scott Redler, planned for just one location, but a couple of years later, in rolled requests to franchise and the concept rocketed into a fast-growing enterprise of popular, family-friendly restaurants. The momentum and frequency of new Freddy’s openings continues to increase as the concept becomes more widely known and in demand by consumers as well as real estate developers.
“We wanted to launch something Wichita had never seen before,” says CEO and cofounder Bill Simon. “Thinly -pressed, caramelized steakburgers were a bit of a foreign concept in the Wichita market, as was frozen custard and even shoestring fries. But we genuinely believed in the attraction of this atmosphere that mirrored my dad’s [Freddy Simon] optimism, patriotism, and insistence on family togetherness, and we wanted to share it with everyone. Of equal importance, we loved—craved, really—the product. Every day, Scott, Randy and I continue to love what we do even more than we did on day one. That’s rare.”
Already in 2016, Freddy’s has opened 23 restaurants and is on track to open another 32 by year’s end. Simon says the company will open more than 70 locations in 2017 and has development rights currently in place with its franchisees that make it realistic to have more than 600 locations open in the coming years. In preparation for its significant expansion, the company has bulked staff numbers in its Wichita Support Center. Over the past year, Freddy’s has added a vice president of finance, a vice president of strategic growth and chief legal officer, a director of personnel, and a director of IT, along with several new members of its accounting, construction, franchise support, guest relations, marketing, purchasing, real estate, and training teams.