Wienerschnitzel, the world’s largest hot dog chain, has announced that its smaller footprint Heritage restaurant design, currently operating in El Paso, Texas, is now available for franchising. The new prototype has been engineered to lower investment and operational costs, while boosting profitability potential and expansion opportunities. Given Wienerschnitzel’s 19 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth, there has never been a better time to invest and partner with the brand.
The Heritage model ranges from 730 square feet to 1,400 square feet, depending on desire to add indoor seating. The layout, which features a walk-up window and drive-thru, can be built on as little as 15,000 square feet. The ability to capture small and irregular shaped parcels of land where many competitors will not go presents great opportunity. With more real estate options, the efficient design allows franchisees to expand at a faster rate in both existing and new markets.
“As times change, we understand that the demand for good real estate does not,” says Ted Milburn, director of U.S. franchise development for Wienerschnitzel. “We’ve designed the Heritage to allow for increased flexibility without hindering key business functions or customer service, while removing some of the investment barriers that exist in today’s competitive real estate landscape.”
The Heritage model pays tribute to Wienerschnitzel’s signature 1960s A-Frame, recognizable for its red roof, unique design, and the drive thru built smack dab in the center of the building. The new restaurants will feature retro design accents with a modern twist, and will serve the same classics as traditional locations including Hot Dogs, Chili Dogs, Chili Cheese Fries, Corn Dogs, and Tastee Freez soft-serve treats.
The El Paso Heritage location, which debuted in October 2014, has performed beyond expectations and has prompted Galardi Group, Wienerschnitzel’s parent company, to move forward with nine additional locations, four of which are currently under lease. The freestanding El Paso restaurant is 744 square feet on a 20,000 square foot pad and features a patio with outdoor seating. The prior generation model had a typical layout of 1,500 square feet, while unit growth throughout the 80s occurred with larger restaurants that were closer to 2,500 square feet.
Investment levels for the Heritage restaurant can vary from $482,000 to $1.3 million. However, the Wienerschnitzel team is aiming to narrow costs between $600,000 and $800,000 all-in, from ground-up construction through grand opening on a 20-year lease. In addition to freestanding locations, Wienerschnitzel is aggressively exploring in-line, end-cap, and urban street properties where square footage might range from 400 to 1,200 square feet, and build-out could be up to 50 percent less.
Milburn adds, “The Heritage building is the rebirth of an icon and, with our heightened focus on franchise development, it’s the perfect time to introduce this new compact design.”