Toastery is a made-up word, so it always comes up first in Google searches, says Robert Maynard, co-founder of the full-service breakfast and lunch concept. Coining that name was just one of the smart moves he and his partner, Brian Burchill, made five years after they founded what started as Toast Cafe in 2005. "There were lots of other Toast Cafes, so we had difficulty getting a trademark," Maynard says. The duo soon found themselves pioneering other trends: In 2008, they introduced all-day breakfast, and in 2009, avocado toast. After growing to three locations, Famous Toastery decided to give franchising a shot in 2014.
"We didn't have a massive business plan in place to conquer the world, but wanted to make sure our franchise partners shared our vision," says Maynard. A key part of that vision is the scratch-made menu. The kitchen roasts its own turkey and corned beef, makes all the salad dressings and salsas and cooks everything to order. And every time a new store opens, the franchisee must choose a charity partner and donate all of the first two days" proceeds to that local nonprofit. This forges a relationship with the community that sets the franchise up for success.
Fast forward to 2019, and the full-service chain has 34 locations, with six more slated to open in the Charlotte, N.C., market by year's end. Storewide sales increased more than 38% in 2018, totaling close to $43 million. Many locations have the same franchise partner, a move that better supports the infrastructure and promotes profitability, says Maynard. At one point, the co-founders had to put the brakes on franchising so as not to overload the system. "We didn't want to grow for the sake of growing and are now being selective about expansion, especially in areas outside the Southeast. A franchisee has to be able to open at least five units in a new city to compete, and not all can do that," he says.
Maynard and Burchill are still very much involved in the day-to-day business. They scout real estate, negotiate leases and vet franchise partners. "Franchising is a growth model, but you're working with many different personalities and can lose control," Maynard says. "Keeping the brand strong is important to attract the right people."
|2018 Systemwide Sales ($000,000)||$42*|
|YOY Sales Change||38.5%|
|2018 U.S. Units||32|
|YOY Unit Change||28.0%|
|2018 Average Unit Volume ($000)||$1,500*|
|Future 50 Year||2019|