Bill Church, president of Mr. Dan’s Franchising LLC, and Allan Zukerman, chairman and CEO of Mr. Dan’s Franchising LLC, have sold the first new franchise in a plan to revitalize a brand name restaurant chain: Mr. Dan’s Hamburgers.
The new Mr. Dan’s franchise is located at 1526 W. Washington in Indianapolis.
“It’s a strong location,” Church says. “It’s located a half mile west of the zoo. D & M Foods is leasing it and the restaurant is targeted to open during the first week of November.”
Church noted the franchise will be open 24 hours a day, six days a week, and closed on Sundays, which is typical for Mr. Dan’s.
“We are also in negotiations to potentially open three more here in Indianapolis,” Church says. “We would like to open additional restaurants in the Midwest first in Indianapolis and then Detroit, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Dayton. And then we would hopefully go national.”
The well-known restaurant chain that specializes in The Big Dan, a made-to-order burger and Nathan’s hot dogs, as well as other food items, is being franchised nationally through Mr. Dan’s Franchising LLC.
Church says it is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs.
“A lot of people have special memories of Mr. Dan’s,” Church says. “It’s a familiar name to many people who grew up in Indianapolis.”
Two Mr. Dan’s locations are in operation: one at 4390 N. Keystone Avenue, just north of Fall Creek Parkway, and another at 34th and Massachusetts.
“The menu and operations reflect years of success in defining the Mr. Dan’s niche,” Church says. “The entire business has sought its own level of customer needs.”
Mr. Dan’s menu consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, tenderloins, chili, and french fries. A limited breakfast menu is available late night and early mornings.
“The Big Dan hamburger is the mainstay of the business,” Church says. “The burger is widely known in the community as the best. They are always cooked to order and served hot.
“Because Mr. Dan’s is located in urban areas, it does not compete with the big boys of fast food. Mr. Dan’s stays within its niche and serves hamburgers cooked in sight and to order. The Coney sauce and seasoning salt are proprietary items manufactured under the Mr. Dan’s label.”
Zukerman says Charlie and Barney’s Award Winning Chili and Nathan’s Famous All Beef Franks are also served at Mr. Dan’s.
“We have been hosting Mr. Dan’s Franchise seminars to inform people who may be interested in opening their own franchises,” Zukerman says. “The restaurants will have a positive impact on their communities and offer employment opportunities.”
Church says the seminars have been successful.
“We have shared a lot of franchise opportunity information with influential members of the community about the concept and a lot of people are excited about it,” Church says. “What really got our attention was the return-on-investment on this concept and the low cost of entry.”
“We are primarily interested in neighborhoods that are challenged by low employment and closed businesses,” Zukerman says. “We want to bring a new business into those neighborhoods and provide employment opportunities and a chance for our young people to learn about entrepreneurship."