Wayback Burgers is reflecting on the first half of 2020 and looking forward to continued expansion and innovation in the later part of the year.
The year 2020 has been one for the history books, and that is no different for Wayback Burgers. Despite the pandemic, Wayback Burgers has awarded eleven new franchises to date.
“In the middle of all this, Wayback Burgers launched a family meal pack, a milkshake promotion on Memorial Day, and of course still held our Free Shake Day giveaway,” says Patrick Conlin, President of Wayback Burgers. “Additionally, we launched a Summertime Lemonade LTO.”
We also saw an increase in milkshake sales nationwide of around two percent year over year. The brand believes this uptick is from people wanting to treat themselves during the shutdown, and a milkshake is something most people do not have the ingredients or blenders to make at home.
In addition to an increase in milkshake sales, June, July and August saw increases in system wide and traditional comp sales. System wide sales for June were up 9.6%, July saw an increase of 10.3%, while August also saw an increase of 10.1%. While June traditional comp sales were up 8.49%, a larger increase occurred in July with 18.9% and 14.2% in August.
Menu item promotions in 2020 bolstered not just the brand’s engagement with guests but contributed to the community at large. Wayback Burgers continued to develop its national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. A portion of every burger and sandwich sold goes to BGCA. Since the partnership began on June 1, 2018, $300,000 has been donated to the Clubs.
When the pandemic began shutting down dining rooms, many Wayback Burgers’ franchisees had to quickly pivot to conducting almost all of their business as takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup. A huge benefit for the brand is that for more than nine years, an online ordering system has been in place. Additionally, two years ago, the Wayback mobile ordering app was launched. In addition, most franchisees also were set up and using the major third-party delivery services prior to the COVID pandemic.
“If we did not have these systems in place prior to the pandemic, I do not believe we would have achieved the sales increases that we are seeing,” says Conlin. “Within the first week of the pandemic, we added curbside pick-up to our system, and that was a big help for our franchisees sales. Our marketing efforts changed from a national focus to a hyper-local focus around each franchisee’s location. Our franchise community embraced this approach which engaged them to spend additional marketing dollars in their areas.”
Switching gears on how patrons experienced Wayback Burgers was not the only challenge at the beginning of the pandemic.
“We produced a COVID-19 procedures manual and supplied every franchisee with a kit for display in their restaurants, including branded face masks,” says Conlin. “Our franchisees jumped in and helped out their local communities with charitable endeavors, such as food donations and delivery to hospitals, EMS stations, and unemployed workers from various industries impacted by the pandemic. A big thank you goes out to our franchisee community and all their team members for working under extremely difficult conditions and remaining open to serve their communities.”
The last part of the year will bring increased expansion as well as a new look for Wayback Burgers restaurants. Wayback Burgers has a goal of awarding another nine new franchises by the end of 2020.
For existing franchisees that want to expand to another location, Wayback Burgers is planning to charge a $10,000 initial franchise fee. The entire franchise fee will be used to remodel the franchisee’s existing restaurant. Currently, the brand is seeing early interest in this initiative with six existing franchisees seeking more information.
“Wayback Burgers believes this is a great fit for our outstanding franchisees to expand and take advantage of second-generation restaurant spaces that are available around the country,” says Conlin. This program is designed to save money during the construction phase and help refresh our brand’s look and feel.”