Crafthouse, a three-unit Virginia chain known for its wide selection of craft beers, has signed a $250 million agreement with American Development Partners and launched a franchising program in a bid to take the brand nationwide.
The partnership is aimed at adding 100 new franchise locations over the next five years, Crafthouse said.
American Development Partners, or ADP, is a large-volume real estate development and private-equity company that helps provide funding and space for multi-unit operators. The company has previously worked with such brands as fast-casual Dog Haus as well as national brands like Wendy’s and Dunkin’.
Crafthouse said the arrangement will allow for ADP to help plan the construction, acquisition and development of 100 more standalone Crafthouse franchise locations over the next five years.
Target markets are North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, and Maryland, with the first franchised locations scheduled to open in late 2019 or early 2020, according to Crafthouse.
“As a former franchisee myself who knows what it takes to succeed in the restaurant industry, it’s very gratifying to create this opportunity for other business owners to have access to the financing and real estate guidance they need to make their dream a reality,” Evan Matz, founder and CEO of Crafthouse Franchising LLC, said in a press statement. “We are thrilled to team with American Development Partners to bring Crafthouse’s community-minded appeal to neighborhoods all over the country.”
Crafthouse opened in 2017 in Fairfax, Arlington and Reston and serves 50 local craft beers on top and 250 craft beers and ciders in bottles and cans at every location, along with pub fare like fried chicken sliders, mac n’ cheese balls, tacos, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, salads and burgers. The average check is $30. Restaurants range in size from 3,900-4,500 square feet while serving 150 guests.
“From our first conversation with him, we immediately began creating a five-year plan for Crafthouse’s development,” Caleb McMillen, COO of American Development Partners said in a press statement. “The decision to get behind such an amazing individual and business was an easy one for us.”
American Development Partners was not immediately available to offer additional comment on the deal.
Crafthouse is looking for franchisees with at least $300,000 in liquid assets and a net worth of more than $1 million. Franchisees at each location of Crafthouse will help to create a food and drink menu that is specifically catered toward the community, featuring local brews and more.
“Our goal is to have a core menu of signature food and drink items that are available at every Crafthouse alongside menu favorites that are customized for that local community,” Matz told Restaurant Hospitality. “We will encourage each franchisee to feature what their region or state does best — North Carolina ribs or Maryland crab cakes, for instance — and source from local businesses for fresh baked buns, bread, local produce, meat, fish, brews, whiskey, wine and more.”
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