Maynard notes their recent growth was with the “breaks on.” The pair refined their expansion plan for the restaurant going into 2019. “We definitely hit the brakes and we’re actually going to start taking the breaks off going into 2019,” he says. “So, I think our growth will really start picking up in 2019.”
Over the past 12 months, 12 Famous Toastery locations opened and the company expects to do at least that many openings in 2019. The Southeast and East Coast will be the main areas of expansion. However, the company isn’t opposed to looking at areas outside of these regions if the deal seems right, Maynard says.
“A lot of people that are interested in our brand actually come to it and experience it,” Maynard says. “And they’re like ‘Wow we’d like to do this,’ but then you get a lot of people that read about us in FSR magazine or CNBC and then they call us.”
“Mostly now we’re talking to and working with multi-unit franchisees across the country. If a gentleman wants to open up one store in Idaho probably not going to do that deal, but someone who’s looking to do a 25-store deal those are the people were talking to now,” he adds.
Over the summer, Maynard and Burchill saw the opportunity to fill a space in the better-breakfast market in Long Island, New York. Famous Toastery opened in Commack, New York, a few months ago near their childhood home in Long Island. This location is special for the pair because it’s only three towns down from where they grew up, Burchill says.
However, it wasn’t just a love of their childhood home that brought them to the spot. Maynard says there are plenty of opportunities to expand Famous Toastery’s across the Northeast. New York is just one part of the Northeast expansion. Franchises in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut have opened over the past year and more are in the works in the near future.
“We’re seeing a massive opportunity out in Long Island [because of] A. lack of competition and B. lack of what we do,” Maynard says. “There’s not a lot of people who do what we do, so we see an opening on the whole East Coast. A lot of these companies don’t want to focus on the East Coast. They don’t know the real estate as well and it’s a little more expensive. We know our brand, we know what we bring to the table.”
Even as the business grows, Maynard and Burchill are still hands-on throughout the opening process and after the restaurant opens.
“We’re a bootstrap company. You’re going to see Rob and I and the leadership team getting in there and getting dirty doing everything that we can do from the inception of the restaurant to the end to the process and everything. We’re very, very hands on and we want to keep it that way for now,” Burchill says. “People open restaurants left and right, but if you don’t have the passion and heart to follow and just keep on getting better and better for the customer then you’re not giving 100 percent to them and then, why do it? So, it’s taken a while for us to get to that level.”
From the beginning, the restaurant was preparing food fresh and from scratch each day. You won’t find any fryers or freezers in a Famous Toastery kitchen. While that business model is common today in restaurants, back in 2005 this type of fresh cooking was ahead of its time. From day one, the restaurant roasted its own turkey and corned beef in the kitchen. Maynard says they fly in fresh lobster so guests are always getting the best dishes made from the freshest ingredients when they dine at Famous Toastery.
“I believe everybody should be all fresh but since we’ve done that since 2005 its second nature to us and we just get better and better and better at it which puts us in a league of our own,” Maynard says.
The continuous popularity of brunch paired with boozy beverages in recent years has played well for the brand. From the beginning, the development of the bar was just as important as the food part of the company. Along with a menu of signature cocktails, Famous Toastery also offers wine pairings to go along with different dishes. Burchill says the beverage program has been a “big success” for the brand.