Thu, Dec 8, 2022 . 3:56 PM
Owner: Jeremy Julian
brand, franchise, restaurant, markets, product, people, franchisees, consumers, el salvador, pandemic, guatemala, opportunity, franchising, competitor, grow, bit, lj, challenges, years, chicken
This is the restaurant technology guys podcast, helping you run your restaurant better
Welcome back to the restaurant technology guys podcast. We thank our audience out there for joining us. Once again, it, it’s always fun. This on this week show we have some operators and some people that operate restaurants. And it’s always awesome to hear from restaurant operators because sometimes we get some of these technologists and they get comments back from people going, That guy was way over my head. And I always love when I’ve got operators on because they can talk real nuts and bolts of how they operate the business and all the success that they have, or have had and kind of where they found that success and all of the things that they get challenged with. I know that some of our best reviews come from those operators. Today we are joined by two gentleman that work at POJO compatible. And it is a fast casual restaurant that focuses on chicken primarily but I’m gonna let them talk a little bit more about it. And so I’m gonna pass the mic to LJ who is their CEO and Managing Director to to introduce both the himself as well as the product and kind of what it is for those listeners that are less familiar. And then if you could introduce your counterpart on the call after after you get done with that, that would be great.
Thank you Jamie for the for the invitation. It’s it’s a pleasure. It’s an honor to be here today with you. My name is Luis Javier Robles, every one of my friends everyone calls me LJ I am originally from Guatemala our competitor was born in 1971. I have been in the with the company for 22 years 20 Almost 23 in different areas. Now Mike my current role is to to manage the business and the CEO. Oil compare was to set is mainly focused on fried chicken but we have a very large menu with with different products. We’re going to talk a little bit about that later on. The brand here in the US the first restaurant was opened in 2002. So this April this past April, we just celebrated our our 20th anniversary was a big, huge, fantastic celebration. And right now we are on the on track to open in the next couple of months. Our restaurant 100 here in this country, we have almost 400 restaurants around the world in different countries. But here in the US next year 2023. Around May June, we’re going to be celebrating our restaurant 100. So very excited to be here with you and looking forward to talk a little bit more about the brand.
I love it. I love it. And you brought one of your co workers with you. Why don’t you introduce him and let him Let him talk a little bit about what he gets to do for the brand.
Yeah, thank you, Jeremy. He is here with me is blesses Carter Sega a he is the director of franchise development. Thank you plus for being here with us, please, we’re heading to yourself. Tell us a little bit about what you have done for this beautiful brand and what you are looking forward to doing in the in the next couple of years.
Yes, thank you, LJ and thanks Jeremy. Yeah, I’ve been with both competitors since 2007. So when we opened our US office or US headquarters, I was one of the first employees they they hired to grow the brand here in the US. I’ve been the beneficiary of some tremendous growth over the last 15 years. The brand to me represents a tremendous opportunity that we have before us as far as, as the brand potential in the white space that we continue to have here in the US and we’ll see in the future. My background has been before combat I was in public accounting for eight years. I also worked in publicly traded companies and real estate and restaurants. So I have over 30 years experience but mostly in the restaurant space. And I can tell you from my experience has been it’s never been a better time for oil competitors we are right now. And my goal is as franchise director is to really allow the brand to to be more convenient to our consumers throughout the US in areas that we believe very strongly. The potential will be there with our existing and future franchise partners.
I love it. I love it. LJ when you when you went through a little bit of kind of the intro about the brand. Something that I’ve been doing this for almost 25 year over 25 years in the restaurant space. Oftentimes brands and often brand oftentimes brands come over from other countries to the US and struggle. They struggled to find a consumer base they struggled to find product they struggled to find even the core flavors that they might have Talk to me a little bit about what that’s look like you’ve been around with the brand long enough that you kind of understand that. And and what do you think has resonated so much more with the US based customers that’s allowed you guys to last 20 years and to, to get to that place, because I’m sure both of you guys haven’t been in the space for a while, have seen brands that have come over whether they come over from Asia, they come in from Central America, South America, and they struggle in the US market. Talk to me a little bit about that. And why do you think POJO is has has, I guess, bucked that trend and been able to be successful here in the US.
So what we did originally, when we opened our first couple of restaurants back in 2002, we were following here in this country, as you know, we are many immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador, what the Milan and salvo is where we have a the biggest presence with this brand, in what Amala over 150 restaurants and in El Salvador close to 120. So it’s, it’s a huge brand, it’s, we are leaders in those countries. So we have lots of legacy consumers that many, many years ago, they emigrate from, from whatever elements of our to this country. So back in 2002, we started to see and even before that, we started to see that people all the time, when they were traveling from Guatemala to El Salvador, they were buying chicken to bring it from Guatemala to the US. And because of that, we have restaurants inside the airport in Guatemala and El Salvador specifically for them to buy and to bring it in. So we decided, Okay, what if we open a restaurant where they are in the US, and that’s how we started in California. And if first, I would say, probably 10 years, our strategy was very clear, to go on to open restaurants, specifically, where our legacy, meaning what the melanin Salvadorian, consumers were open restaurants close to them, and how that how we set our base up. So we started to put restaurants, okay, were the legacies. And then the following 10 years, since their brand started to grow, of course, we were making more noise, more marketing, different trade areas. And we started to cross with the brand over. And that’s how today, many different consumers, they already know about campero. And in our plan to grow for the next couple of years, what we are also looking for is for, to crossover with a flow the crossover with a brand. Of course, the legacy consumer is always going to be a very important and relevant part of our business. Everything we have done so far in big terms, is thanks to them. But that those memories, about campero back in Guatemala, El Salvador, in a couple of years, with the next generation are going to be gone. And we are very clear about that. And that’s why as we speak, we are already working on growing in different trade areas for different kinds of consumers in order to make these these these brands much bigger and larger in different trade areas. But our business short answer to your question, our business has been very, very, very successful thing to the base that we set a almost 20 years ago.
I love that. I love that. And I unfortunately, so I forgot to tell you guys about this on on the initial onset of the call before we hit the record button. But I was supposed to be on a trip to El Salvador on Monday, we do have an office for my normal day job in El Salvador, we’ve been working in El Salvador a couple of years and have some Salvadorians that are that are both both come back and forth to the US as well as we’ve got a call center and some some technical people down there and, and so I it’ll be interesting, even for me as a consumer to try the brand here and then try the brand when I get to El Salvador and see, see what even the differences are. And as I as in kind of my day job. It’s also fun, because I watch certain brands, Boston Pizza, US, which happens to be here in Dallas, has franchises in Mexico. And they had some challenges with some of those things initially, and we’ve been with them for quite some time to watch that. And so I’m sure that you guys had the opposite of that. Coming here at Cheesecake Factory when when I first wanted another one of our clients when we first went over to the Middle East with the Cheesecake Factory they had to figure out how to source some of their products how to change even some of the recipes quite frankly, did you guys find some of that same stuff as you guys are getting into markets? I know. I know. We’ll get into kind of you know the the commercializing of Your guyses brand and being able to hit that consumer demand in other geographic areas where it’s less, you know, primarily Guatemalan and Salvadorian. But are you guys finding, I guess, collectively getting products that really meet your guys’s flavor profiles to be easier or harder about the same as you guys start to expand out of your core base? Because I have found over the years that some do it really well, some struggle, you know, and even just coming to the US was that a struggle. And then, once you got it here was a struggle to get outside of the core markets of California, Texas, and where there’s a large Latin population.
Yeah, it has not been easy. That’s, that’s for sure. It’s tough. And it’s not Tawfik. Because of you cannot find the products here, of course. And actually, most of the suppliers that we use in Guatemala, meaning the the french fries, the brand in, those are US companies that that provide that is what happened. Not not that bunch anymore, but happen not too much time ago is that it’s hard because our economy of scale is not there yet. So we have a very specific what this what we sell the most what we are famous for is our fright, traditional chicken. It’s unique. Even the bread of the chicken has to be injected. Bye bye, bye, bye, buy, buy the provider. And then it’s a complete a very interesting and complete process that we do at the restaurant. But in order to have the exact same flavor. And you’re more than invited to do that, try the chicken here in Dallas, and then in El Salvador, you will see that the product is basically the same is exactly the same thing. It has not been easy. Lots of effort with the behind that. But we have fantastic partners, suppliers that have been helping us a lot with that, I would say the first couple of years was very tough, especially when we only had five to 10 restaurants. Now that we have a larger footprint here in this market, it’s getting better and better. But it’s never easy. It’s never easy. It’s a huge country, we have presence in different states, different markets. Also, the challenges that we have with supply chain are not easy to in order to get the product fresh, because all the products that we use is always fresh, never frozen. So it’s it’s challenging, but it’s doable. And it’s part of our job to make it happen to deliver the best quality product ever.
I love it. I love it. And I had somebody say to me that the whole country of El Salvador is like the Dallas metroplex. And so it’s like, oh, yeah, I don’t think about it that way, because I’m a US based citizen, and I’m like, oh, yeah, that’s a whole country that’s like the size of the Dallas metroplex. And nobody would think to drive from Plano to South Lake is that hard to do in El Salvador or Guatemala, it’s probably very similar. Whereas you’re talking about New York and Boston and things that struck me was your guys’s results you guys are, you know, where others are struggling, you guys are killing it. You guys are killing it. You guys are solid franchisees, you guys are growing sales, you guys are growing market share, talk to me a little bit, you know, I’m gonna I’m gonna pass it to both of you guys and say, talk to me about some of the things that you guys think are some of your key differentiators that are allowing you guys to take market share, we know that we know I mean, if you look at the statistics, the amount of frequency that people are coming in, is not increasing, you know, the the, you know, the sales might be going up. But most of that’s from from taking price and taking, you know, taking price, you know, on those items. So to grow sales, that means you’ve got to be converting somebody from another brand that was buying somewhere else to buying inside of your guys’s brand. So talk to me a little bit about that and give me some numbers, really about what the first half of the years look like for you guys and kind of where you guys see the trajectory heading on that.
Sure, I can start there. Thanks, Jeremy. The You’re right. The challenges has been, you know, there’s been commodity price pressures in the restaurant industry, which has led to margin degradation, which we’ve experienced with many others. I think in our case, and I’m going to go back a little bit was pre pandemic, we had really prepared ourselves with digital. What do I mean by digital, we had a mobile app in place. We had signed third party delivery, the website was up and running call center for us was up and running. So when the pandemic hit, what happened is we saw the consumer shifting over from dying into these different channels which really benefited us during that time. And I can talk to I did talk to various people in the industry. And we were kind of ahead of the curve at that point in time, our sales continue to do extremely well. Right after the pandemic started and continues to do well today, one of the things that we look at very closely as you know, we look at guest check, but traffic counts, counts have continued to be healthy, we recognize that value is very important to our consumer base, our legacy consumers. And also as a mainstream starts to recognize who we are, and we become more convenient because of more locations, they’re also starting to realize a competitor is somewhere they want to go. So we’ve been able to capture the the crossover very well during this pandemic. And if you, if you remember, during the pandemic, a lot of people work from home. So a lot of people ordered food from close to where they were working out of which is our home. And we were in some of these areas that maybe they didn’t during the daytime, decide to go to competitor because they were working somewhere else. And at night they came home and, and ate at home. So it really opened us to a great market for crossover during the pandemic, our numbers. And we just closed recently, the numbers. We had record monthly revenues in July, which were phenomenal for the brand. We had exceptional EBIT our results, our same store sales continue to be in double digits, year to date. When we look at our when we look at ourselves to the competitors, not only in the restaurant industry, but chicken category, we’re up there. And I think it’s been a complete team approach. You mentioned supply chain, yes, there have been challenges during this spirit. Having the relationships with our suppliers is very important that people out in the restaurant executing on a day to day basis, especially coming out of the pandemic continues to do well, we had recent store openings that are just been homeruns for us in California. So when you look at at the holistic view of combat and how we’ve done this year, it’s really a reflection of what we’ve done as part of the planogram over the last three or four years. And that’s something that we’re very proud of.
I love it. I love it. And, and I think you guys are in in a pretty, pretty unique category. Because there’s only a few brands that have done that. There’s a lot of brands, if you read the press that are out there that are really struggled whether it’s whether it’s with, you know, whether it’s with ticket price, or just reduced guest counts, reduce margins, having to figure out different ways. I mean, we all go out to eat, I’m sure all of our listeners go out to eat, you get some of these restaurants that are throwing in, you know, the pandemic fees and this inflationary fees, in addition to take in price. And so it’s, it’s always interesting to do that. Talk to me a little bit about you throughout the whole idea of digital. I know that, you know, this is a technology podcast primarily. But talk to me a little bit about what that guests engagement looks like how much do you know about the guests? How much are you able to engage with them? How much are you able to figure out frequency as it relates to guest? And how much of your sales really has moved to digital versus, versus not? How much was it before pandemic? How much was it now, kind of talk to me talk me through that that trajectory sounds like you guys were early on, which is fantastic. And as a restaurant technologist I used to beat on our customers to go, you gotta get there, the customers are gonna get there and yeah, we’re doing just fine. We’re so busy, we can’t even deal with it. But I’m sure there was both technological challenges operational challenges that have done that talk to me a little bit about that transition and what that looks like for you guys and any insights that you guys might have for those that either aren’t doing it well or need to revamp what it is that they’re doing out there. Give some wisdom and guidance to them to help them out on their process. LJ I’ll let you start since you’re kind of ops and then we’ll we’ll talk through kind of the franchise community and where that where that went.
Okay. Yeah, sounds good. Just a I will go to this. Right now. Just Just a little something regarding the last comment that blast was was making. You were saying Jeremy that if we are gaining someone has to be losing which is which is right but there is something else and we have this very clear. We are also competing against the habit of cooking at home. When you have a new get inflation like the one we’re getting, everything gets very expensive plus the effort to go into the supermarket plus the effort of cooking your food your meals. And since we have a very unique menu that it’s very, very healthy, very, very tall. So it’s very it’s very unique in many cases is seen as a complete home cook meal and we are also targeting that opportunity. A I, especially on weekends, but I would say every day, but especially on weekends, that’s what we are seeing. And not also lots of transactions. But also our average take a check is very high. Because of that, because of the envelope our customers are doing is replacing the regular meal, increasing the frequency by going to a competitor to buy the lunch or the dinner. Going back to what you were asking about the digital app delivery, what we did, and I think this is an opportunity for everyone. We did very deep analysis, some benchmarks of everything that it’s already out there, up and running. And we say, Okay, what it’s good, and what it’s not good about everything that is out there. And we tried not to invent anything new, that was going to be too risky was going to take too long, it was going to be too expensive. We just put a taskforce together to really understand okay, what does every every one else doing? What is right, what is it? What is average? What is not good? And let’s do our own platform platform, trying to improve what Emery is outside? And we did actually, we got an award a couple of years ago from technomic. Congratulating also by having the second best up there. So the answer for I would say it’s keep it simple. Sometimes, all of us try to overcomplicate things. And all of the sollen, the products take very long or very expensive or then are not user friendly. And so to keep it simple, that’s what worked for us. And after that, we started to improve and to make it even better. But the very, very first version that we kick off was a very simple one. Everyone was getting it understanding it was easy to use. And we started to see that everyone was downloading it and was easy to use. So keep it simple, keep it simple.
I love that. It’s funny, because if you were to go look at some of the articles that I posted, or some of the some of the podcasts that I’ve I’ve done, it’s like go look at your competitor, see what they’re doing, figure out what you like, and what you don’t like, get a list of that start small and build as you go. And I love that. I love that theory. And I think that there’s there’s quite a few people that, that that could use that. That idea. Because ultimately technology for technology’s sake does nothing. Technology that enhances the guests experience is really what it’s all about, in my opinion. It’s not about putting technology out just to be the best or the fastest to market. It’s how do I engage with the guests? And how do I make their experience to experience my brand, my products, my team, the the items that we have more critical? So all right, I’m gonna pivot a little bit to talk about franchising. Talk to me a little bit about what the mix is today. And where do you see growth you’ve got, you know, if you look at the 100 stores, you guys are in some you guys are hitting some of the major markets, but not all the major markets. And, and as we talked about early in the show, the idea is is how do we how do we get this product to a place that that it can be ubiquitous across the whole country? You know, everybody knows what a subway looks like, everybody knows what a McDonald’s looks like, but you can’t go everywhere in the country and get an oil compatible. So talk to me a little bit about where you guys are at in that journey. And where do you guys see it going over the next few years?
Yeah, Jeremy right now, if you were to look at our complete system wide, you know, we have 86 units. 17 of those are currently franchise units. We have franchise partners that have been with us for over 12 years successful over the years. So we’re very proud to have them along. We have franchise partners in the Minneapolis St. Paul, Atlanta region, Nashville, North Carolina. We also have franchise partners that we’re looking for in various regions of the US. So when you look at the fact that we have 17 franchise partners now and the potential that we have in some of the markets we’re looking at, it’s a lot of whitespace. So what we’re trying to do from a franchise perspective is is we realized that the corporate driver, which is something that has been very successful for us in the last year or so, will allow us to expand the footprint with in partnership with our corporate stores. Right now we’re looking at definitely growth in in the US West region which is Colorado you tal San Diego market specifically in Arizona, we’re also looking for franchise partners along the Texas border region, which includes El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, we have opportunities in Louisiana and as well as the southeast region, which is Tennessee, Georgia, North Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina. And what we found is definitely in the franchise community and those franchises that we have in the southeast, specifically Atlanta, North Carolina, and Tennessee is the consumption of chicken fried chicken specifically is highest. They love the product, they they they gravitate to book and pedal, we have customers that drive hundreds of miles to some of these franchise units. Wow, I the product, it’s amazing when I’m visiting one of their franchise stores, that people will come up to me they see my logo on my shirt, and they’re asking me to build a franchise unit in one other areas. And it could be far to 300 miles away. It’s amazing the following. So really our strategy is, is to grow in in our existing markets, which I’ve mentioned some of them right now. And also to penetrate new markets, which really is a US west area, which I mentioned Colorado, Arizona, Utah, US and San Diego is really the strategy. And really, when you look at what we’ve been able to do over the last couple of years, we we we as part of the plan to grow that we have here, the strategy is to ensure that we’re able to successfully bring in franchise partners who are qualified, who meet the minimum requirements who have the passion for the brand. That’s something that is non negotiable, and something that we must have with our franchise partners. And also to have the the capabilities necessary for development growth plans, because we want franchise partners who have not only the skill set, but can they build four or five competitors in some of these markets, especially in some of these areas that we’re entering that are new. So the the response of the franchise community is growing, it’s something that we decided aggressively to pursue at the end of last year. And I’m happy to say that there has been a lot of involvement, a lot of communications with prospects over the last six, seven months that will allow us to develop where we’re looking for the franchise restaurants in the US.
So haven’t been in the space and watch franchises grow. Talk to me a little bit about your selection criteria. Are you looking for somebody that already has five or six other brands and is looking to add to their portfolio? Are you looking for somebody that’s just passionate that that you know that you guys are gonna bring them into the brand, and you guys are gonna bring him into the brand and teach them how to run a restaurant. You know, I’ve seen it done a multitude of different ways. You know, everybody’s probably studied the way that Subway did it. And McDonald’s did it and, and, you know, the guys out of Atlanta that sell lots of fried chicken as well at Chick fil A, you know, but each of them have a different approach, you know? And I know that, that they’re that no, not one size fits all. I don’t know how complex your operation are and how how firm your I guess your your franchising processes, you’ve had some people that have been around a long time, I happen to have a customer that we work with that franchise is about 12 different brands. And talking with him, it’s uh, you know, he always kind of kind of looks for those brands that that are looking to just add to their whitespace in the geography that he physically is, then there’s others that that are like, You know what, I need somebody that lives in the local market and wants to be there. For those that are listening that might know your product might have seen it when they were traveling to El Salvador, Guatemala, they’ve seen it in LA or Dallas or somewhere that you guys already have one of your, you know, you know, 80 plus stores? What is it that you’re looking for, for those listeners that are out that are like, Oh, I love this product, helped me know what it what it looks like? What is that criteria that you guys are looking for in a franchise so that we can help you guys get get to where you guys are looking to get to?
Yeah, great question. We are definitely looking for smaller end developers, we have a mixed portfolio of franchisees now, and for us to really be able to grow, we’re looking at smaller developers, we do have franchisees who are one to three store levels. And then we’re looking for five to 10 is really our sweet spot there we’re looking at, you know, some of the criteria we’re looking at is of course, access to capital, some expertise, the ability to quick or expansion, willing to take territories, smaller territories and then grow from there. You know, one of the things that we’re looking for is, is did I have the scale advantage to be able to grow the brand like we want to, and then there’s also those that are specific to certain areas in the US where you don’t really need a lot If your area developer, but it’s more of a filler of the current space that we have there that gives, you know, one to three level operators to be able to, to build competitors, they don’t have as much capital, but they have definitely the passion. And they haven’t experienced they’ve been, you know, whether they they grew up on it, or they’ve married somebody or some relative, they all have some common thread as to the passion they have for the brand. So those definitely are people that we want as part of the franchise community. But when you mentioned, you know, what specifically, we we look at a criteria that’s very specific for the brand because we want to make sure that, that they’re going to be very successful in that. It’s not just buying a restaurant, it’s buying into the compare of family buying into a future growth opportunity that will last and be very, very, very beneficial for them. Going forward. Of course, the typical screening criteria is we have capital, they have to have a sufficient net worth and liquidity. They have to have a good attitude. We want people that are happy operating within the confederal system, they’re able to work collaborative ly with the franchisor, they have high energy, they love real estate, they’re they’re really good people to deal with. They’re able to set goals and make decisions they’re committed to franchising with and they understand the risk and the commitment necessary for being a franchisee and compatible. You know, of course, we want to make sure they have general skills. You know, leadership ability is something that we look very closely. Have they managed other concepts to your question? Are we looking at multi unit franchisees? Yes, those that maybe have something that can complement their current portfolio, you might have a franchisee, who has hamburgers and pizza. We believe chicken is a great addition to their portfolio. So yes, we’re looking for that because they bring certain management skills and leadership skills already in the restaurant industry that would make them ideal for us to be able to partner up. And then at the end, they have to have the passion for confederal, you know, I’ve come across franchise prospects who really want to be part of a franchise concept. But do they have the passion that’s necessary to be a competitive franchisee and, and when you talk to our existing franchisees and the current prospects that we’re looking at, they have that passion, and there’s kind of the, the intangible piece that’s part of franchising that we look at very closely. So. So those are the kind of criteria that we look at, but, but at the end of the day, and as part of the group and part of franchising, we always realize that when you’re part of the franchise committee or part of the competitive family, and that’s something that we take very seriously here at compatible, and something that we will always continue to do, because this is a brand that’s really family driven. And we’re very proud of that.
I love it. I love it. I I t’s from time to time haven’t been in the space. It’s like, what I was hoping you didn’t say, and I know this isn’t who you guys are, but it’s like, oh, I got some inheritance from grandma who passed away and I want to start a restaurant, I’ve never operated in a restaurant, I’ve never worked in a restaurant. I just really liked the food. And I think that it works. I’ve seen some franchises and franchisors that just throw those things out there. And it’s like, Hey, you got it, you know, you got, you know, half a million dollars in your bank account, or you know, you got some, some net worth, and you want to open up a restaurant, it’s like, well, that’s not really going to be successful, because at the end of the day, they’re not going to be willing to put in the grit to drive these things. Because as you both know, running restaurants, not easy, running restaurants, not easy. And as our listeners know that. So LJ, I’m gonna pass the mic back to you talk to me a little bit about what you see as your biggest opportunity. And as well as your threat as you guys are continuing to try and grow. Compare, like worldwide or nationwide here in the US talk to me a little bit. What were those opportunities and where, where do you see the you know, what keeps you up at night? What are those threats that you see out there.
So the opportunity, we have the right momentum, this is our momentum, we have them operations in place as they should be the right menu, the right value, so we are ready to grow. We already started to open up a couple of restaurants. Just one last week or one three weeks ago, they are doing extremely well. So the opportunity for horses is right in front of us we want to speed up the process. Of course, having strong pipeline to grow is never easy. It takes time to find the right location to get all the permitting entitlement then the construction, hiring the people training the people so on average, that could take 1518 months. So that’s why we are in the process of hiring many simultaneously Yeah, of course they challenges I would, I would call them more than threats really challenges it. One is the construction costs. Hopefully, we are already hitting the peak, I hope so. Only eating in 12 to 18 months, we have seen the construction costs really do go up a lot. 2020 25% at least. So that’s that’s one. The other one, of course, is what’s going to happen a specific specifically to all the macroeconomic environment. If the inflation keeps, like it is okay, I think we can handle we can manage that, if for any reason, keeps going up, that’s going to be complicated, we want to be very, very cautious with our prices. Because once you over price, it’s very hard to come back, we have seen that in the past, we have seen that in with different brands, it’s very hard to tell people, you know what inflation is gone. Now going back to regular prices, please come back. It’s very hard to do that. So it’s going to be a challenge for us to really say, Okay, this is the value we want to offer, we are going to be a accepting the heat at some a level in our results. But for how long, that’s going to be manageable and doable, that’s that’s going to be a big challenge. So far, everything is good, we are super happy with the results. If the economy keeps going like it is an inch and starts to improve, that’s going to be fantastic. But those are I would say the kind of things that we are working on that we have a in the in the as as the challenges of our of our strategic plan. But other than that, we already have 50 plus signed leases in different markets ready to grow. So this is this is when we were building our our strategic plan. We call it the plan to grow. Everything was a dream, let’s do some here, there, let’s find these kind of leases and everything everyone was dreaming. Now is already a reality. Once you have the liability of a signed lease, it has to happen. We have already 50 As I said, we are in the process of signing many, many more, we are negotiating probably another 50 At least. So in two years, the footprint of comparing the US is going to be twice as big as it is right now. And we’re very excited about that. It’s a huge opportunity credible. And the important thing, an opportunity. I forgot to mention this is a great one. I have had the opportunity to see 1000s of people of consumers first timers to the brand to consume compare. And I really mean this I’m it’s not because I’m the managing director. I have never never never seen anyone saying you know what, thank you. But I didn’t like your product. Never in 22 years. That I don’t know your blast, but I really mean it. I like it. Now I have personal challenges, to invite neighbors to invite friends to invite those people that it’s walking around just to see if someday I’m going to find someone that said something negative about the product. Because if that happens, I don’t know if I’m going to believe that. So I want to be in front of someone telling me no, I didn’t like it. And here’s why that that was no one. No one, no one. Everyone loves the fried chicken that we offer. And that’s a fantastic opportunity that we have.
I love it. I love it. I love it. There’s an opportunity to be able to make you guys the ubiquitous, you know, kind of fried chicken out out in the country and be able to compete with some of the biggest fried chicken players out there in the market. That’s awesome. I love it. I love it. So as we’re coming kind of to a close listeners that are just blown away with all of what you guys have talked about, what do they do to get in touch with you guys? What do they get to? What do they do to learn more about the brand learn more about, you know, hey, I want to be a franchise. I want to learn more about it. I want to experience the product. I want to I want to get deeper with what it is that y’all do. Tell tell our audience out there how do they engage with the team? How do they engage to, you know, even be able to experience some of these year over year sales increases as they start to get into that list of 50 that are negotiating, you know franchise agreements and that kind of stuff. Tom, tell tell our audience how do they get in touch with the team? How do they how do they engage and go a little bit deeper?
Yes, Jeremy you know that we have a have various avenues channels that you can kind of learn about the brand. And one of the things that we’ve done very well lately is is our mobile app. So if there’s opportunities that you are in a market where we have oil compatible, please, there’s a mobile app, download that you can take advantage and see who we’re at what we’re doing the food products, we have unique sides, whether it’s plantains or yuca. As Lisa mentioned, LJ the fried chicken is phenomenal. I’ve never heard anyone complain or say it wasn’t the best, or one of the best products, we do have a website, www dot compare or.com. In there, you’ll be able to see many various sections within the company. Especially franchising, if you click on the top right hand side of that you will be able to see franchising. I am the franchise person that people can get a hold of me, I’m more than happy to talk to anyone communicate with me either through our website, or my phone number, which is 972-804-2635. And then we have various angles in LinkedIn that you can learn about the brand. And also we have a global brand. Remember, as we talk about competitors, not only here in the US, but you can also know about the history of our brand and Guatemala. So there’s an opportunity for anyone interested in the brand to look at that. And at the end, you can I hate to use this cliche, but Google it, you’ll be able to see a lot about the brand, the history, the tradition that we have, which is very powerful. And I think to develop Jay’s point, the next two years will be very critical for us, you’ll be hearing a lot about us in the different channels and the different markets we’re going to be opening, for example will be in Raleigh as a franchise opening in September. We’re really excited about that. And then we’ll have openings throughout the US especially California, Florida and New York. So those are the areas that I would welcome anyone to go look at and understand the brand. And of course our corporate office here is in Dallas, you’re more than welcome to come visit us in the Dallas office. If anyone is ever interested. We welcome that and then visit our restaurants, restaurants are throughout the US. I think it presents an opportunity to come in, enjoy a great meal come visit us we want you to come try us. We believe once once we get the food in the consumers mouth, it’s something that’s very powerful. It’s something that is very addictive to the consumer. And that’s what the what the excitement is about this brand in the next five years to be honest.
I love it. I love it. And hopefully the power of the the restaurant technology guys, listenership doesn’t get you guys your first negative review, but I look forward to having them try some of that product. Thank you both for giving us an insight as to what Boyle competitor was doing, where you guys are at a little bit of the history, some of the challenges that you guys have have have encountered. It’s been great to learn a little bit more myself as a recent Dallas transplant transplant as our longtime listeners know, it feels like I mean, I was joking with the guys before we started the show. I hadn’t been to any of them in SoCal for some reason, but, but now that I’m here I’ve been I’ve been hitting them up around the metroplex. So it’s great to even personally experienced the product and hear about all of their success. Go check them out as as they talked about online. While you guys are online, if you guys haven’t already signed up for our once a month newsletter, go to restaurant technology guys.com Put in your email address, we won’t spam you we won’t sell any of your information is really just to make sure that you guys stay up to date with all of the cool conversations we’re having with different people and all the articles that we cross post and whatnot. So also, while you’re online, go give us a rating on your favorite podcast player because it helps more people find out about the show. If you guys have any guests that you guys want us to lists to have on the show, please send them my way. You guys know how to get a hold of me to our two guests. Thank you guys so much for your time and to our listeners make it a great day.
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