Compared to the U.K., locations in the U.S. are typically bigger, come with different hole options, and entertain more corporate events. The demographics are essentially the same, which is the 21- to 39-year-old age category.
The company says the first two U.S. stores in Atlanta and Chicago continue to outperform all success metrics. Alongside entertainment, the food menu includes a host of globally inspired shareables (thai fried chicken, buffalo chicken dip), flatbreads, salads, and handhelds. There’s also wine, beer, spirits, mocktails, and a selection of signature cocktails, such as the Smokin’ Painkiller (Pusser’s British Navy Rum, Stroh 160 Overproof Rum, fresh orange and pineapple juices, coconut cream, served in a nutmeg smoke-filled wooden chest).
“The overall guest experience has been really well-received, from the booking journey at the beginning to execution in-house,” Powell says. “So everybody's feedback so far has been really good. Repeat visits have also been really strong with them.”
Instead of targeting a specific region, Puttshack from the start has aimed at establishing a presence in the North, South, East, and West. As Powell explains, the brand wants to create a national presence so the real estate community recognizes the concept can work anywhere. The company is avoiding California, Las Vegas, and New York for now because of high construction costs. But that’s not to say the chain won’t eventually enter these markets. The idea is to take learnings from more suitable locations, like Boston’s Seaport district, so Puttshack can test expensive trade areas in an efficient manner.
Site selection is heavily reliant on space. Atlanta was a ground-up build housed in a mixed-use development, while the unit in Oakbrook was a former Lord & Taylor space. The brand is comfortable in both urban and suburban locales.
Despite supply chain shortages and delays throughout the industry, Powell says Puttshack hasn’t been impacted significantly.
“We've actually been pretty fortunate in that regard,” He says. “We've got a lot of folks on our team that have a lot of history in this industry. And so from a supply chain perspective, we've been a little ahead of the curve. Probably due to some luck, but we haven't had too many issues on the supply chain. From a construction perspective, we’ve partnered with ARCO/Murray who is our main general contracting firm, has a lot of experience in this space, and they've been great partners to help us manage through this process.”
A couple months after the Atlanta venue opened, CEO Joe Vrankin told FSR that its success has "blown the doors off of what our expectations were." At the time, it was averaging more than 1,000 visitors per day, well above what the concept predicted.
It's the type of response Puttshack is expecting a lot more of going forward as it enters some of the biggest markets around the country. With a large amount of financing behind it, the company is eager to reach its goals, but in a measured way, Powell says.
“We set very ambitious goals early on when we started forming the plan for this business," he says. “The way to achieve those goals over time is to have the fantastic team, and we truly believe we've got the best team in the industry behind this concept. So that's certainly part of the reason that we've been able to attract capital and certainly from this round from BlackRock. It is a balancing act, but we're confident we've got the right team to balance.”