- Fat Brands has opened its first tri-branded location in Southern California, the company announced Tuesday.
- The restaurant, located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Valley Village, contains a Fatburger, Buffalo’s Express and Hot Dog on a Stick.
- Fat Brands is expanding its co-branded locations now that it has built up a large platform of 17 brands through acquisitions.
This Fat location presents a chance for the company to test brand combinations and expand menu options for consumers. The three brands are Los Angeles-born and come with fan bases, Mason Wiederhorn, Fat Brands’ chief brand officer, said in a statement. Menu items include custom-built burgers, Fat and Skinny fries, chicken wings, hot dogs on a stick and cheese on a stick products, the company said.
Fat Brands will wait and see how this tri-branded unit performs before moving forward with any similar locations, the company wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive. Co-branding has grown to be a large part of the company’s strategy, providing ways to grow sales and leverage restaurant margins with combined menus, CEO Andy Wiederhorn said during the company’s October earnings call.
Franchisees appreciate co-branding because it creates more opportunities for growth, and makes their units more attractive to landlords who prefer this diversity, Andy Wiederhorn previously told Restaurant Dive. Andy Wiederhorn added that co-branded concepts tend to have 20% higher average unit volumes than standard restaurants.
The company opened its first co-branded Fatburger/Buffalo’s Express location in 2013 and now has more than 100 such units globally, as of October. Fat has co-branded Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery brands at 225 locations as well, Andy Wiederhorn said during Fat’s latest earnings call. The company is also considering co-branding Fatburger with existing Round Table Pizzas, he previously told Restaurant Dive. In October, Fat opened its first co-branded Johnny Rockets/Hurricane Wings location.
More co-branded locations are likely in the company’s future. Fat has a pipeline of 1,000 units, and Andy Wiederhorn expects as many as half could be co-branded depending on landlord approval.