At the moment, Brackett likes the pace of expansion. He doesn’t want to expand too rapidly and open more locations than the company can support. “I just don’t want to come out of the box and say ‘hey let’s sell 50’ and then you know not have a plan in place to take care of them,” he says. “I really want to be smart about our growth and also attract good talent. I’m supporting those people. I think it’s really hand-in-hand us understanding where we are as a company, but also keeping franchisees in mind in terms of our growth strategy and making sure we have the right pieces in place to ensure that they’re going to be successful.”
When meeting with potential franchisees, Brackett wants people who can bring something to the table and add value to his team. The people he wants to work with need to have a competitive edge and bring something new and exciting to the company.
“My goal, and what I pride myself as a football player, was getting the most out of each one of my players,” he says. “I think the same thing from a franchisee perspective. Identifying the right franchisees and then giving them support and the tools so they could do their most to reach optimal success, and really working alongside them to really make sure that they can reach their full potential.”
“I think that’s what’s been exciting to me as I continue to learn and grow into this industry that I have the ability to continue to train and now develop and partner with some amazing people as franchisees,” he adds.
Before entering a new market, Brackett and his team research an area using new technology to fully understand the market. When the brand enters a new DMA, Brackett’s goal is to own a 3- to 5-mile radius.
This new technology, like geo-targeting and SEO, helps the company to understand potential sales, marketing strategy, and competition before a new location opens.
“I think there’s a lot of technology in place that can really make your systems able to scale,” he says. “Through digital tools were able to go inside of a market and market as if we have 10 stores in our market. I think that’s really powerful in terms of leveraging the digital side to make sure you have a presence known no matter where you go.”
The Stacked Pickle difference
The Stacked Pickle does things a little differently than other sports bars. Yes, a big football game draws a large crowd, but Brackett doesn’t just focus on the Sunday afternoon rush. He wants customers to come in for a football game and come back for lunch on Monday.
The quality of food also matters to Brackett. High-quality, fresh products are standard at The Stacked Pickle.
“Our proteins, our chickens, our beef, and our pork tenderloin is fresh never frozen,” he says. “I think when you talk about the sports bar industry a lot of times you’re thinking ‘ahh OK, I guess I’ll just eat this when I go watch this game,’ where I really think we have delicious food.”
The menu at The Stacked Pickle is comprised of classic sports bar offerings, like burgers, pizza, and wings, but the flavors and ingredients elevate the dishes to something you wouldn’t normally find in a sports bar.
“[Our food] it’s fresh and it’s on trend. We pride ourselves on having some updated menu items and then the overall diversity of the menu,” Brackett says. “I think that really helps when families are undecided on where they want to go. If someone wants pizza, someone wants wings, and someone wants a burger at the Stacked Pickle you can have all three. At a lot of our competitors I don’t think that’s the case.”
The diverse offering at The Stacked Pickle includes sports-bar staples and lighter options. By offering salads, rice bowls, and other healthier options, customers tend to come into the restaurant for lunch. “We have a whole side of our menu that’s a healthier side, so there’s some options in there, whether it be a wrap or salad or a rice bowl that someone can enjoy and still go back to work. I think that kind of drives traffic for lunch,” Brackett says.
Brackett also decided to include catering as another way to customers can experience The Stacked Pickle. Lighter options are all a part of the regular menu items, but are also popular options when someone places a catering order, Brackett says.
These healthier menu items have also helped drive traffic to the catering part of the business.
“I think a lot of times you think about a sports bar, you don’t think about what they cater to,” Brackett says. “We really made a mission to cater and that’s a beautiful thing for lunch when you have a couple hundred dollars leaving the door. That’s very unique from a sports bar that we can cater so well.”