Iconic Massachusetts chain continues scoping out potential franchisees amid pandemic
Earlier this year, iconic Boston staple Kelly’s Roast Beef announced the launch of its franchise opportunity, giving hopeful entrepreneurs the chance to open a Kelly’s in their very own communities. While Greater Boston was the main target zone for initial expansion, the beloved brand is now announcing that it is specifically looking at Providence in its search for franchisees.
The iconic chain — which proudly lays claim to having invented the modern roast beef sandwich – is looking to bring a taste of its hometown to new communities throughout the Northeast. Spearheading the franchise expansion is Neil Newcomb, CEO of Kelly’s Roast Beef Franchising, who says he is already in touch with very interested prospects in Rhode Island.
Newcomb is a nearly 30-year veteran of the franchise industry. He started his franchise career with McAlister’s Deli, which was founded by the Newcomb family, and then served as the head of franchising for Brixx Wood Fired Pizza until 2019. Since launching Kelly’s Roast Beef’s franchise opportunity, Neil has been connecting with prospective franchisees and beginning to build relationships, despite in-person limitations.
“Even though the pandemic has slowed things down, we have received incredible interest in Providence and we believe that, with the right franchise partners, we could open three new locations in the area,” said Newcomb. “We believe that there is a lot of opportunity to expand throughout New England and Providence is a great place to start.”
The history of Kelly’s dates back to 1951, when founders Frank McCarthy and Ray Carey first worked together at the Paul Roger House in Revere Beach. The duo decided to go into business together and opened up a hot dog stand next door while continuing to work at the inn’s restaurant. The iconic roast beef sandwich was created on a whim one night after a wedding was cancelled, and the two took the roast beef from the event over to their hot dog stand and served it on a grilled hamburger roll. Since then, the Kelly’s Roast Beef sandwich has become a local legend.
“In my entire career in franchising, I had never seen a reaction like the one we got with Kelly’s. I was contacted by so many people looking to bring Kelly’s to their area; it’s very evident that this is a brand people love and feel connected with,” said Newcomb. “As we connect with prospective franchise owners, we are excited to welcome passionate individuals into the Kelly’s family.”
A busy location during its peak season can sell upwards of 20,000 roast beef sandwiches a month. Across its multiple locations, Kelly’s estimates a staggering one million sandwiches sold a year. The figures are impressive, but equally impressive is that even in the face of tremendous volume, Kelly’s hasn’t gone towards a commissary set-up. Instead, each location roasts its beef in-house all through the day, ensuring that sandwiches can still be carved to order as they have been for decades. Other beloved menu items include fried clams, lobster rolls, crispy french fries, onion rings, hot dogs, and chicken finger plates.
Founded in 1951 and franchising since 2020, Kelly’s Roast Beef is the inventor of the modern roast beef sandwich. Kelly’s roasts its beef in-house all through the day, serves everything fresh and made-to-order, and estimates serving a staggering one million sandwiches a year. The brand has become a symbol for Boston and has been referenced in pop culture, including in 30 Rock and Good Will Hunting. Today, there are five locations open in the Boston metropolitan area. Including a franchise fee of $40,000, the total initial investment to open a Kelly’s franchise is $900,000-$1.7 million. For the first 10 franchise agreements signed, the royalty will be 3% year one, 4% year two, and 5% for the remainder of the term.
For more information, visit https://kellysroastbeeffranchise.com.
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