Global franchise and restaurant expert Aziz Hashim announced the national launch of Franklin Junction, a “digital first” enterprise designed to help restaurants (host facilities) monetize excess kitchen and storage capacity. The Franklin Junction platform uses a data-driven demand-matching process that allows restaurants to produce and sell popular menu items from a carefully curated roster of established restaurant brands which are generally not yet available in the market area of the host facilities. Sales are executed online to avoid disturbing the host facilities’ primary operations.
“The Franklin Junction platform was designed to help our restaurants leverage their excess kitchen and labor capacity. Franklin Junction allows the units to drive incremental revenue without disrupting current operations and requires no capital expense nor significant alterations to the existing space,” Hashim says. “We studied every type of solution—ghost kitchens, virtual kitchens, etc. —but could not find one that met our requirements to improve the efficiency of our existing space, so we created our own model and coined it: ‘Host Kitchen,’” Hashim addds.
Depending on the type of host facility and based on its configuration of kitchen equipment, the host can produce branded hot foods or sell pre-packaged food items. In some cases, the host facilities will do both. Franklin Junction’s proprietary process determines what additional products can be made and successfully sold out of existing restaurants for online sales.
The venture was pilot tested by Frisch’s Big Boy where a second brand was introduced and marketed for delivery sales. Encouraging results drove quick expansion to 100+ locations throughout the upper Midwest. Simultaneously, Franklin Junction launched The Captain’s Boil brand, Canada’s leading seafood boil concept, in 12 Atlanta restaurants. The next phase of this rollout will bring The Captain’s Boil’s most popular menu items to 50 additional outlets across Florida and Georgia. The ability to create additional revenue for hosts and brands without capital expenditure is a signature feature of the platform. “Hosts increase their sales and brands expand their footprints to new markets – everyone wins”, said Jason Vaughn, CEO of Frisch’s Big Boy.
The Franklin Junction platform has rapidly expanded its roster of concepts, partnering with more than twenty leading brands from across the US and several International markets. These concepts are being deployed across a network of approximately 550 host facilities currently on the platform. It’s expected that another 1,000 host facilities will join the Franklin Junction network by the end of 2020.
Retailers outside of the food industry are also taking advantage of Franklin Junction’s approach to last-mile micro-distribution. “We quickly saw that non-restaurant facilities, such as hotels and convenience stores, can also serve as distribution points, particularly for pre-packaged items such as meal kits which do not require a kitchen,” Hashim says.
“Due to the devastating impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on restaurant and retail operations, we have accelerated the release of Franklin Junction to the entire U.S. restaurant and retail community. The Franklin Junction team wants to help as many retail locations as possible stay open, increase sales opportunities for both hosts and brands and in turn save valuable businesses and jobs in communities across the country,” Hashim adds.