At just 22 years old and a new Huddle House owner, Aarya Trivedi is described as having a stellar work ethic, an insatiable appetite for growth, and the energy to carry out his visions. That’s according to Kayla Edidin, the casual family restaurant’s senior director of franchise development.
This isn’t the first time in history a green entrepreneur took Huddle House by storm; Edidin can point to several young franchisees who have been in their system for decades, operating some of the most successful locations. However, Peter Ortiz, chief development officer of Huddle House, believes Trivedi is ushering in a new wave of leadership for the breakfast chain.
In early January, the brand signed a multi-unit development agreement with Trivedi and his mother to reinforce Huddle House’s foothold in Richmond, Virginia.
“This kid was born old, and his work ethic is off the charts,” Ortiz says. “If you saw his resume, the way he moved up, he brings so much expertise at such a young age.”
Trivedi started working at quick-service giants including Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, and McDonald’s at the age of 16, initially moving into managerial positions but then advancing all the way up to the corporate level.
He also oversaw the operations of his family’s multiple retail businesses and put his hospitality degree to the test through several roles at Marriott International. Trivedi credits his business acumen to his mother, Vimalben.
“She helped me learn how to run a business by coaching me,” Trivedi says. “Anything I needed; she was always there to guide me. All my family members played a huge role in supporting me and raising me up to where I am right now.”
One of the biggest pieces of advice Trivedi carries with him daily came from Andrew Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A. Trivedi says Cathy told him that age is just a number—it’s who you are that will help you go forward and rise in a competitive market such as the restaurant industry.
Ortiz says Trivedi’s achievements at an early age will act as a beacon of hope, attracting a new generation of franchisees to the Huddle House brand. He adds that he’s willing to provide ample opportunities for budding entrepreneurs such as Trivedi who have a sense of “get up and go.”
“I have absolutely no worries about his success; I’m thinking about where his second location is going to be,” Ortiz says. “I’m protecting this market for him … I have a great feeling about Trivedi. He’s a great kid, from an amazing family and education.”
Trivedi’s first Huddle House location is slated to open in May 2025, and will be the brand’s 16th location in Virginia. He says this is the first time Huddle House will be competing in the heavily saturated market of Richmond, but this doesn’t faze him.
“[In the beginning of my career] I felt like an outsider because of my age, but I raised my head up and kept going in the same direction, doing what I wanted,” Trivedi says. “I’m excited. I’m competitive by nature, so I want to go in aggressively and show them I’m ready to get more.”
Site selections for his first restaurant are already underway, and Ortiz is confident another lease will be signed within the first six months of finding a location. He believes this strategic multi-unit partnership will eventually turn into a 10-plus unit type of relationship, and because of Trivedi’s age, he’s got the energy to take Huddle House to the next level and inspire others.
“He’s going to run great locations and be an excellent leader and teacher. He will create this legion of Aaryas, and that’s absolutely what we’re looking for,” Ortiz says. “We’re going to train him as he’s never been trained before, and then he’ll carry it forward. He’s got the momentum to grow this brand across the space.”
Trivedi’s main goal is to expand as much as possible within Richmond and beyond. He enjoys being the first franchisee to put their foot in a brand-new market, despite the challenge. He’ll stay with his first unit for two years, and then wants to open a new one every year.
As Huddle House continues to expand with over 300 units in development across the U.S., Ortiz knows young owners similar to Trivedi will bring in younger customers. Through integrated marketing tactics, optimizing the menu, and onboarding a fresh set of franchisees, Ortiz is keen on attracting all segments of the population.
“Huddle House is on a roll right now, and the reason why is because we’re bringing in individuals like him and giving them a chance,” Ortiz says. “I’ll help [potential franchisees] get into the business and be successful, but if they don’t have an engine, I’m not their guy.”
Trivedi’s advice for young entrepreneurs looking to get their foot in the door? Find people like Ortiz.
“Just keep your head up and follow your end goal. Don’t worry about anything else,” Trivedi says. “There are a lot of great people like Mr. Ortiz in the industry who will make you successful if you just follow them and keep going.”