Following the opening in October of their first Ground Round Grill & Bar in Rochester Minnesota, Franchisees Andy Chafoulias, Joe Powers and their team at GR Minnesota, LLC have executed a multi-unit Development Agreement with territory and rights to open 8 more Ground Round franchises over the next 10 years in the markets of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. “We’ve assembled a deep, experienced team to meet these development needs and believe in the strength and loyalty of the Ground Round brand in these prime markets,” notes Andy Chafoulias, whose group also owns an AmericInn hotel, the Rochester Event Center, and the well known Canadian Honker restaurant near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “Ground Round is a brand everyone knows and it’s unique structure offers franchisees an ownership stake in the brand, and input in the company’s direction.”
The Minneapolis/St. Paul deal follows a recent signing of another multi-unit agreement in New Jersey with Recreation Centers LLC, and there are new projects also under construction in Oshkosh, WI opening in April and a new prototype design opening in late January in Waconia, MN. These developments have strengthened the new unit pipeline to 15 signed Franchise restaurants, with as many as five of these restaurants expected to open in 2013.
Same Store Sales Growth
Unit growth is not the only story about this emerging Ground Round brand, as Average Per Unit Volume has grown each year since Franchisees bought the brand in 2004, and Ground Round has posted 11 straight quarters of system wide comp sales growth dating back to April 2010. “The brand is well known across the U.S. and our franchise owners are motivated to expand, as they not only own their restaurant, but they have the option to purchase a membership/ownership share in our company for each restaurant they open. That share provides a preferred royalty rate, a stake in the brand, and direct, partnership input in the future and growth of our company,” says Jack Crawford, President & CEO of Ground Round.
“As a brand we are debt free and driven by the leadership and direction of our franchise owners and Board of Managers, who are passionate and push the bar to continuously improve our image, menu offerings and competitiveness,” states Crawford. “These efforts have led to the positive sales results and unit growth we are experiencing.” Included in these initiatives are new restaurant designs, upgraded plating and menu offerings, and a second brand called Ground Round Sports Grille, for non-traditional development in smaller spaces like airports, bowling and entertainment centers.
Ground Round IOC
Ground Round IOC represents a group of independent franchise owners who purchased the Ground Round Franchise Rights and Trademarks, and have owned and led their own brand since 2004. Ground Round IOC operates 27 restaurants in 12 states spread across the Midwest and Northeast areas of the U.S., with a pipeline of 15 new locations under development at this time. Headquarters are based in Freeport, Maine. For more information, www.groundround.com.