To boost growth this year, Wienerschnitzel is offering investors an 84-percent discount on one-time franchisee fees.
The Irvine, Calif.-based hot dog chain said the 2019 incentive program, a first of its kind for the chain, would apply to the first 20 investors. The deal would reduce normal franchise fees from $32,000 to $5,000, the chain told Nation’s Restaurant News.
The company is also cutting royalty fees from 5 percent to 1 percent for the first three years.
But to qualify for that perk, there’s a caveat. Wienerschnitzel said investors need to start construction of restaurants within 18 months of signing their agreement and meet other obligations.
The incentive program applies to investors who are new to the brand, as well as existing franchisees.
Wienerschnitzel said the company opened nine restaurants in 2018, and currently has 20 more on the development calendar for 2019. Ted Milburn, director of franchise development, said the company is seeing interest “spike” in the hot dog chain, in part, due to its low food costs.
The privately held company said monthly same-store sales, on average, were up 3.7 percent from January 2018 to November 2018, compared to the prior year for the same period.
The 325-unit company is 100 percent franchised. It expects to double stores in development with the incentive program.
“We’re using this franchisee incentive program — limited to the first 20 investors who inquire and qualify — to jump-start the New Year,” Milburn said in a statement. “When these 20 licenses are sold, this incentive program will end.”
Wienerschnitzel, founded in Southern California by John Galardi in 1961, is owned by the privately held Galardi Group Inc. The company has 357 restaurants operating in 12 states under the banners Wienerschnitzel, Tastee-Freez and Hamburger Stand.