BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- A chain of 24-hour diner-style restaurants serving breakfast, lunch and dinner plans to bring three to Butler County by the end of 2017, the Journal-News reports.
Huddle House wants to establish locations in Hamilton, Oxford and Fairfield by the end of 2017, according to Christina Chambers, director of franchise development for Huddle House.
The menu of the Georgia-based 24-hour restaurant chain offers a mix of Southern inspired comfort food, including hash browns, grits, waffles and omelets, all made to order. Other favorites include Big Bold Burgers, Big House sandwich platters, country-fried steak with green beans and marinated grilled chicken with sweet potato fries.
The new locations are part of the company’s franchise growth initiative, which is specifically targeting expansion in Butler County. That expansion will see the chain grow from just over 400 locations in 21 states to 500 restaurants opened by April 2019.
“We do have a few locations in the Midwest and Ohio is definitely one of those states that is a huge target for us,” Chambers told the Journal-News. “Ohio and especially … Butler County, just really, really matches our customers profiles. People love the kind of food that we have, the kind of community feel that we bring.”
There are 39 locations already in development nationwide. Hamilton, Fairfield and Oxford are desirable locations to add to that total because the chain works well in “a mix of diverse blue-collar (and) white-collar families,” Chambers said.
“Anything with that really hometown feel who appreciates Southern hospitality, and also college students,” she said. “That’s where Oxford comes into play.”
Chambers also cited strong retail and corporate growth in the county as a factor for the chain wanting to find franchisees there.
The designated market area of Greater Cincinnati is Huddle House’s number one target with a potential for five new locations there in addition to the three Butler County locations, Chambers said. Columbus is the chain’s second-highest Ohio DMA, followed by Cleveland, Chambers said.
Typically open 24 hours, Huddle House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. That recently helped the chain earn a spot on Small Business Trends’ list of 20 Unique Restaurant Opportunities for Foodie Business Operators, she said.
“Somebody in your party might decide they want a steak or a hamburger at 5 in the morning (and) they absolutely can,” Chambers said. “They can have anything they want on our menu at any time.”
Huddle House started in an Atlanta suburb in 1964. Franchise formats are flexible, with some locations being leased in existing retail storefronts and others being constructed as new, free-standing locations.
“What my team looks for is the right person, the right franchise partner, who wants to bring us to their community and then that person will make that decision,” Chambers said.
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