Huddle House diner franchise is adding 10 units over the next five years in New York, marking the 50-year-old brand's first foray into that area.
The expansion represents an agreement signed with an experienced multi-unit investor, and both franchisee and franchisor are excited about the new deal. While Huddle House has previously extended only as far as West Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Northeast is a perfect fit for the iconic diner franchise.
"If you think about it, there's already a diner culture there," says Jonathan Benjamin, chief development officer for Huddle House. "Huddle House represents something new and innovative with a bit of Southern flair. Bacon and eggs you can get anywhere, but the biscuits and gravy are just not everyday menu items you'll find in the Northeast. That's a bit of a draw, along with the small footprint and ease of operation."
Most Huddle House diners are open 24 hours a day, which dovetails well with the diner tradition in the Northeast. The diner franchise serves up any meal, any time, with offerings that include fluffy omelets, golden waffles, grits, hash browns and the aforementioned biscuits and gravy. The menu is rounded out with classics like burgers, fries, hand-dipped milkshakes, and Southern favorites such as country-fried steak and country ham.
The bold reds and oranges of the brand's new Evolution redesign puts a modern spin on the classic neighborhood diner. The restaurants feature open kitchens that promote more interaction between guests and the staff. The mix of booths and tables can be reconfigured to accommodate various groups. Benjamin anticipates a warm welcome for the brand in New York.
"I don't think people anywhere in the country appreciate a broader variety of food than the Northeasterners," he says. "New Yorkers like having a variety of options, and the Southern menu at Huddle House will tickle their taste buds. It's a bit of a novelty compared to what you can get at a regular diner there. You can get all of that at Huddle House, plus more."
With more than 400 stores in 23 states and almost 180 franchise partners, Huddle House is continuing to expand.