Company Overview - Willie Jewell's
Willie Jewell's was founded in 2008 by Joe Adeeb and Josh Martino. The company offers slow-cooked meat preparations to consumers across the Southeastern states of the US. Some important factors that are contributing to the growth of Willie Jewell's include its low franchisee and operational costs, regular participation across local events, and faster order processing.
History of Willie Jewell's
- Lou Bono opened the first restaurant In 1949 at 4907 Beach Boulevards in Jacksonville.
- Adeeb's family supported Willie Jewell's by giving her a job at Green Turtles restaurant at the age of 16.
- In 1959, Bono's was sold by Thelma to Harvey Greens. Further, the restaurant was purchased by Adeeb's family in 1980.
- During the 1980s-1990s, Willie Jewell's assisted Bono's with new recipes that led to the growth of Bono's patronage.
- Willie Jewell's passed away in 1997, and Harvey Green retired in 2013 after serving for 57 years at the restaurant.
- Willie Jewell's was established in 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida. Joe Adeeb and Josh Martino founded Willie Jewell’s as the fast-casual sister concept of Bono’s Pit Barbecue.
Company's Growth Factors
- The founders of Willie Jewell's plan to expand the rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant chain with a less expensive franchise format. Currently, the company's franchisee operations cost about $550,000-$750,000 to build.
- The restaurant features less capital investment, simpler operations, fewer employees, and a higher profit margin. Alternatively, the company is focused on attracting different franchisee groups along with new customer demographics.
- Willie Jewell's offers catering services across multiple locations it serves. In 2019, the company provided catering operations across Georgia, Florida, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
- In 2018, the company had 11 stores and featured an average seating capacity of 80. Further, the guests are greeted by names when entering the restaurant.
- Many recipes and sauces developed by Willie Jewell are used today by both Bono's and Willie Jewell’s. Additionally, all foods are cooked on-site for Willie Jewell's restaurants.
- The company usually targets a densely populated area, featuring a strong workforce population and lower commercial rents.
- Additionally, the company plans to expand its footprint by entering larger markets like Tampa and Atlanta after achieving success in mid-sized and small markets.
- The company guides franchisee units by offering site selection, training, marketing, purchasing, and designing services.
- It is noted that though Bono's and Willie Jewell's offer similar menu items but the company named the restaurant differently to attract a larger audience.
- The company also eliminated the server position and decreased its building footprint to enhance growth.
- Willie Jewell's also gave its restaurants an open kitchen with a wood smoker to preserve the experience of an open pit.
- The company regularly participates in local events like the CABA event, Songwriters fest, Waitr launch party, among others.
- Willie Jewell's currently features 16 stores across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.
- As of 2018, Willies Jewell's featured 11 restaurants primarily in the Southeast US, with another four planned to open by year's end.
- In March 2019, the company opened its third Tampa store in Florida. Additionally, the company planned double the size of multi-unit restaurants across Atlanta, Tallahassee, and Tampa in 2017.
Financial and Relevant Information
- According to Technomic's estimate, Willie Jewell's is estimated to grab an annual revenue of $29 million in 2019, registering a yearly growth of 39.4%.
- There are 17 Willie Jewell's restaurants across the US, generating an average sales revenue of $2 million annually. The yearly increase in the number of stores is about 41.7%.
- The restaurant chain was featured in the Inc's 5000 list with an annual revenue of $9.1 million and a growth of 660% in 2017.
- In 2017, the company had about 240 employees. The revenue split between franchisee and company-owned operations was about 65:35.
- The signature menu items on the list include smoked briskets, smoked BBQ wings, and smokehouse stackers.
- The average revenue generated per check by the restaurant stood at $11-$12 in 2018.
- Equipment package cost per restaurant was $110,000-$125,000 in 2018.