Sub franchise, Cheba Hut “Toasted” Subs, and our fearless Founder, Scott Jennings, were recently featured on Restaurant Business Online, as a Buzzworthy Brand! What is a Buzzworthy Brand, exactly?
“Editor’s note: Buzzworthy Brands is a new weekly Restaurant Business feature highlighting innovative growth brands that operators should keep an eye on.”
Yep! Sounds about right to us! With a year-over-year sales growth of 11.6%, an average unit volume of $1.5 MILLION, and a theme that was successful even before cannabis started becoming more mainstream, Cheba Hut is absolutely Buzzworthy. Though we initially started growing rather slowly, we have since started pushing an explosive, yet methodical expansion plan.
To help achieve our attainable, albeit lofty, goals, we recently hired Brian Loeb as our Vice President of Marketing, who sat down with Restaurant Business, as well. Brian spent many years as the head of digital marketing for Smashburger and he’s actually our first outside corporate hire. Tasked with expanding our brand to audiences who may not be familiar, or even comfortable with the marijuana culture, we have made it a point to assure prospective customers that Cheba Hut is, and always will be, all about the food, the atmosphere, and the customer service.
Here are some questions, focused around growth, that Scott and Brian answered.
Note – To read the full Q&A, CLICK HERE
After more than 20 years, why are you ramping up for growth now?
Jennings: I started Cheba Hut as a cool place to work, where you didn’t need 15 to 20 pieces of flair. I wanted people to have fun, come as you are. If you smoke weed, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great, too. (But) we need opportunity. These are good kids. We want to have the opportunity for people in our organization.
As you expand, how will you grow your audience?
Loeb: Any marketer’s job is to boost sales. The way to do that is to elevate the customer experience. For 21 years, we’ve had this really, really loyal customer base. We owe extreme loyalty to those people. With that said, there’s a lot of people who haven’t tried Cheba. I don’t smoke pot and there was some sort of barrier to me at the beginning. … But I was completely hooked from the first bite. We need to start with that core base and extend that to other customers as well. We’ll launch a relevant and “Cheba-fied” loyalty program, revamp social programming, optimize online ordering. We’re certainly not veering away from what we’ve done and who we are. We’re not going to be Chuck E. Cheese’s overnight … but, at the same time, let’s extend Cheba to different segments.”
Are you currently looking to invest in a sub franchise, for the present or the future? If so, then we would absolutely recommend looking into Cheba Hut “Toasted” Subs! Our AUV is unmatched in the sub franchise industry, our Support Team is unparalleled, and, perhaps most importantly, Cheba Hut was successful even before cannabis started hitting the mainstream. What does this mean? It means that we’ll continue to be successful whether the cannabis culture stays relevant or not.