Establishments: Pudgie’s Famous Chicken; Wall Street Deli; Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips; Ritter’s Frozen Custard; 100 units total, generating approximately $40 million in sales. http://www.trufoods.com
Headquarters: New York City
What He’s Done: In buying and reinvigorating four classic older franchises, Andy Unanue has not only rescued the brands from obscurity but also created a way for entrepreneurs to get in on the ground floor. “These iconic brands have a track record and a place in history, and they represent a chance for qualified, motivated people to get on a growth track without having to risk getting involved with a startup,” says Unanue, 44.
Why We Like Him: A scion of the family that founded Goya Foods, Unanue was attracted to concepts that were once prosperous and remained well-loved, despite more recent retrenchment. “These brands strike a chord with baby boomers who grew up with them,” says the CEO. “I think that’s one of the reasons we’re getting a lot of franchisees who want to operate the locations with their own children.”
What’s Next: Twenty percent growth through franchising is on the boards for the next two years, and acceleration after that.