There is no shortage of brands that identify themselves as being part of the crowded better-burger segment.
A pioneer of the category, Back Yard Burgers’ approach to treating their guests with genuine kindness and respect, and delivering on a promise to provide hot, fresh and delicious food, differentiate the brand in a way that others simply cannot match.
Back Yard Burgers’ commitment to living their values, mission and vision is having a direct effect on results. The brand’s company stores enjoyed a 10.6 percent increase in same-store sales in the first quarter of 2014. It’s that kind of quantifiable result – backed by 12 consecutive months of increased revenue – that has this iconic brand justifiably excited about the future.
By serving the highest quality food and the freshest ingredients, allowing for individual customization, and treating each order with the same care that they would for a member of their own family, Back Yard Burgers is fulfilling their mission of “providing custom, flame-grilled variety with care.”
The Back Yard Burgers turnaround began in 2013, after David McDougall became the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Monte Jump joined the company as their Chief Marketing Officer. It was McDougall and Jump that sought to take on three critical areas of improvement within the brand: Unit-level economics, improved franchise relations, and a return to their roots in providing hot, fresh, delicious food.
Together, they have developed new brand architecture, stabilized the company’s support team, and installed a culture of treating guests with a genuine kindness and respect that resonates across the system.
“After joining the company, I visited with every franchisee and general manager in the company, as well as our loyal guests to get their ideas and hear their concerns,” McDougall said. “The majority wanted us to return to our roots. I also met with Lattimore Michael, the brand’s founder, to better understand the history of Back Yard Burgers. Ultimately, we wanted to refocus on a commitment to providing hot, fresh and delicious food. And that’s exactly what we are doing.”
Raving fans still have access to Back Yard Burgers’ staples, and their third-pound burgers and chicken breasts are every bit as tasty and satisfying as they were when Michael perfected them on an open flame grill in Cleveland, MS many years ago. However, the additions of new favorites – such as the Chipotle Burger, the Prime Rib Burger and hand-dipped banana milk shakes – elevate a list of offerings that long has been viewed by the industry as being fun, creative and guest-focused.
Back Yard Burgers is quickly becoming the standard for quality in the better-burger category through strategic improvements to the menu, operations and their relationship with franchisees and guests. It is this winning combination and stability that has investors taking a much closer look at this well-known and respected brand – and why Back Yard Burgers’ fans are back.
“In a recent survey, seven out of ten guests said they choose Back Yard Burgers over our leading competitor because of the depth of our menu variety – including our grilled chicken sandwiches, salads and desserts,” Jump said.
Each of these improvements has caused the Back Yard Burgers’ team to be excited about the future.
“A strong 2014 puts us in a great position to grow the brand,” McDougall said. “By 2015, our focus will be to bring new franchisees on board to spread Back Yard Burgers’ mission of providing custom, flame-grilled variety with care to more guests.”
Back Yard Burgers is a quick-service, better-burger concept that takes pride in their uncompromising commitment to “providing custom, flame-grilled variety with care.” The company’s franchise partners and employees are passionate about offering the freshest ingredients, allowing their guests to customize their meals and to serving the same high-quality food that they would offer at home to their own family. Along with offering made-to-order gourmet Angus burgers, Back Yard Burgers’ menu includes delicious grilled chicken sandwiches, fresh and creative salads, hand-dipped milkshakes, and freshly baked desserts. Today the franchise brand operates 68 locations in 14 states.