In 2021, FB Society also plans to debut Buttercup, a concept that Gibbons describes as a “new look at chicken tenders from a culinary perspective with interesting flavors and just a whole different look.” The tagline of the brand is “Love Me Tenders,” harking back to the classic Elvis Presley song and movie. Similar to Son of a Butcher, Buttercup’s journey will begin in Legacy Food Hall. The other new fast casual set to premiere next year is the Italian Job. The brand will offer fresh made pasta and pizzas by the slice.
“I think there's a hole in fast casual of higher, better-in-class food choices,” Gibbons says. “And I think for the consumer in a lot of fast casuals, the whole consumer experience is weak, and what we do is think through not only the journey of the consumer with the food experience, but also the journey with the digital experience and how to make it as easy as possible for them.”
FB Society has plenty of resources to test and grow its new concepts. Dallas-based Legacy Food Hall consists of three stories and more than 55,000 square feet of space, enough to house more than 20 food stalls and five full-service bars. In the spring, FB Society’s Food Hall Company will also open Assembly Food Hall in Nashville, which will have almost 100,000 square feet of room, more than two dozen food spaces, and a full-service wine focused restaurant.
Gibbons says the leadership team is full of restaurant junkies who study the business, and so they’re aware of other incubating methods such as ghost kitchens and virtual brands. The CEO says FB Society hasn’t played in that area yet, but it’s certainly considered it.
“For some of the more experiential restaurants, it's hard to imagine Grubhub walking up for a wing shop at one of our higher-end places because a lot of the places that are doing it in their own restaurant, it's to support capacity because they have excess capacity,” Gibbons explains. "Our brands don't have that problem, but as far as creating a brand for a ghost kitchen, that's something that we have talked about and looked at.”