With eight locations open in California and one in Nevada, Lumberjacks announced it plans to expand to 25 to 50 locations in the next five years in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Texas through franchising. The brand’s new prototype location in Redding, California, will serve as the model for all future franchise locations. It features an updated sign with a contemporary-looking lumberjack holding a fork in one hand and an ax slung over his shoulder. Upon entering the restaurant doors, which feature axes as door handles, customers immediately experience the feel of being in a rustic log cabin in the middle of a forest, about to spend a weekend roughing it.
The new model doubled-up on the log cabin theme by adding a massive juniper tree behind the host stand, elements of juniper and blue pine throughout the dining room, wooden log cabin chairs at every table, and artifacts from lumber camps as well as murals of lumber camps on the walls.
To add to the ambiance and provide family-friendly entertainment, TV screens play reels of lumberjack competitions including log rolling and speed climbing. The brand’s signature lumberjack statue stands outside making for a popular photo moment.
“Our lumberjack motif stems from one of the earliest American trades—the timber industry,” says founder Jeff Garrett. “Lumberjacks brought a strong work ethic, an ability to work well on a team, and, of course, a voracious appetite. They were rewarded with large portions of food, which is echoed in Lumberjacks’ slogan, ‘Where the big boys eat.’”
Seeking to build a restaurant where consumers could enjoy a meal that was delicious, hearty, and filling, yet at a price that would not break the bank, Garrett opened the first Lumberjacks location in 2004. In 2007, he partnered with experienced restaurateur Scott Bailey to grow the Lumberjacks concept throughout the country.
Today, Lumberjacks has strong, unit economics, with consistent positive sales growth over the past three years. In 2015, growth was nearly 10 percent. Lumberjacks opens franchises in previous restaurant spaces that have been retrofitted to suit the brand, saving significant build-out costs for franchisees and increasing their ROI.
“Lumberjacks is a special place. It’s something different out there in the sea of generic restaurants,” Bailey says. “Our locations perform strong. Our franchisees are happy. Guests come back because we give them quality food and big portions at an affordable price. And they love the woodsy experience.”
Garrett says Lumberjacks seeks both multi-unit and single-unit franchise owners, primarily with a restaurant background. He said owners of quick-service concepts find the Lumberjacks opportunity appealing, due to its simplicity of operation and highly trained, experienced staff.
“As an emerging, regional brand, we can give our franchise owners close attention,” Garrett says. “We keep our franchise owners close and treat them as partners with a voice to be heard. This has helped grow the brand to its current and healthy state.”
Lumberjacks, which has nine locations in two states, is a full-service log cabin–themed diner, serving breakfast all day, lunch, and dinner in large portions of down-home menu items made from scratch with fresh, quality ingredients.