Huddle House announced that it will acquire 15 restaurants from franchisee Litco Petroleum and operate them as corporate locations beginning Wednesday.
Litco Petroleum has been a Huddle House franchisee for more than 16 years and has played a key role in the growth of the Huddle House system that now includes more than 400 restaurants open and under development. Litco opened its first restaurant right after the turn of the millennium and in the years since has expanded its footprint throughout Mississippi and Tennessee, including some of the most successful operations in the Huddle House chain.
Recently, however, the management team at Litco Petroleum decided to focus more time on their wholesale oil and fuels business.
“Doing so meant we would no longer have the time needed to devote to our restaurant business, but it was important that we turn the franchises over to someone best capable of continuing to grow the business and developing the people associated with them,” says Mark Little at Litco Petroleum.
“Our decade-and-a-half relationship with Huddle House had been both personally and professionally rewarding, and this was not an easy decision,” he continued. “It’s the people I will miss more than anything, in my stores, at Huddle House, and my fellow franchisees."
For Huddle House, the decision to acquire the Litco portfolio presented a unique opportunity.
“This allows us to significantly expand the number of markets in which we can test and fine-tune new operational efficiencies, menu items, LTOs and automation programs prior to introducing them to the franchise system,” adds Huddle House CEO Michael Abt. “Mark and his group have been valuable partners for Huddle House and we are committed to continue Litco Petroleum’s support of the Huddle House collective mission of “Bringing Friends and Family together, over delicious food, served from the Heart."
From a timing standpoint, Abt said the transition of the first restaurants from franchise to corporate owned will begin Wednesday and all should be completed by the end of the week.