For Newk’s Eatery, a fast-casual brand with 98 units located primarily in the Southeast, the winning formula is culinary excellence, operational simplicity, and growth potential. This year, the company is looking for ambitious and experienced franchisees to help support aggressive expansion.
Newk’s sets itself apart by enhancing customer experiences through technology, supporting franchisees, and providing unique and memorable dining experiences for every customer. And with a $2.2 million AUV,* the results speak for themselves.
Newk’s is aware of the challenges faced by the industry, especially the labor shortage post-COVID. To address this, the company has made it its mission to simplify operations and reduce labor requirements without compromising quality. “We’ve identified initiatives from less prep in the back of the house to having custom-made items made for us by manufacturers. It helps with the consistency of execution and simplifies the process. It makes it easier to do the same thing over and over again,” says Frank Paci, CEO of Newk’s Eatery.
Newk’s recognizes the role of technology in enhancing customer experiences and operational efficiency. The brand recently rolled out an AI-driven phone answering service that has revolutionized how customers interact with the restaurant. A response system recognizes callers’ phone numbers and suggests previous orders for easy reordering. It seamlessly integrates phone orders into the point-of-sale system, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.
In addition to phone orders, Newk’s has introduced tableside ordering. Customers can now conveniently order through the app, select their desired items, and have their food delivered straight to their table. By leveraging technology, Newk’s aims to cater to its diverse customer base while ensuring a seamless and enjoyable dining experience. About 60 percent of business is off-premise; 40 percent is on-premise. “We’re trying to make it as convenient as possible for the guests,” Paci says. “Historically, it’s always been about convenience, quality, service, and value, and we do those things very well.”
Newk’s understands the importance of supporting its franchisees to ensure their success. The company provides an extensive six-week training program for managers in training, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to run their stores efficiently. “We have a great franchise advisory committee who are locked in arms with the things that we’ve been doing to simplify the operations,” says Paci. Furthermore, a dedicated support team assists franchisees during the critical pre- and post-opening stages, ensuring a smooth launch and ongoing success.
Newk’s prides itself on having approximately 30 percent of its system under corporate ownership. “It’s a great sign for franchisees to have significant corporate ownership because we understand the issues and can effectively collaborate when addressing them,” Paci says.
The franchise has gained a reputation for its premium menu items, such as the salmon Caesar salad, shrimp specialties, and prime beef cheesesteak sandwich. “We also have a great pizza product,” says Paci. “As a result, it helps us do much more dinner business than a typical fast casual.”
Looking ahead, Newk’s has ambitious plans for growth and expansion. The brand performs exceptionally well in the Southeast—including Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas—and the company envisions new opportunities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, and other adjacent markets. Newk’s presents a massive opportunity for potential franchisees to be part of the brand’s continued success story.
Check out the Newk’s Eatery website to learn more about franchising with the brand.
By Olivia Schuster
*Average Unit Volume (AUV): The data reflects the performance during the Newk’s Eatery fiscal year 2022, and shows the data for franchised restaurants that have been open for at least eighteen (18) months. This information can be found in Item 19 of Newk’s Eatery’s 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”), to which you may refer for additional information.