Houlihan’s Targets Queens For Franchise Expansion
Houlihan’s, one of America’s most classic popular eateries for three decades, has announced it will target Queens County for expansion, offering franchise opportunities for local entrepreneurs and boosting the regional economy by creating more than 100 jobs at each new location.
"Queens is a natural place for us to go," Bob Hartnett, president and chief executive officer of Houlihan’s Restaurants, Inc. told Gazette Publisher Tony Barsamian. "In Queens, we’ll have a good presence in the Northeast. The Houlihan’s brand is well known, given our presence in Manhattan and New Jersey, so starting operations here was a natural development.
"Queens County is primed and ready for Houlihan’s through local franchise ownership," Hartnett added. "The demographics and consumer lifestyle in Queens County meet Houlihan’s expansion model and criteria. Houlihan’s strong brand recognition, excellent unit-level economics and corporate support, combined with a local operator, will provide a successful business venture while serving the Queens community."
Last month, Houlihan’s signed an area-development deal with Falgun Dharia of NP Management to open six Houlihan’s restaurants in Queens, Staten Island, Orange, Rockland and Putnam Counties. Currently, Dharia’s company owns and operates Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Pizza Huts, Hampton Inns and Holiday Inn Express in the region.
The Houlihan’s brand has a long, rich heritage of 30 years and continues to offer innovative and traditional food and drink, served at reasonable prices. Houlihan’s prototypical buildings are casual, comfortable and fun for the consumer, typically ranging in size from 5,200 to 7,200 square feet. Houlihan’s can seat from 190 to 250 guests and has bar seating for 50 to 70 guests.
Today, Houlihan’s has 83 locations in 21 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico, and is growing aggressively. All Houlihan’s franchise developers are equipped with prototypical drawings, core menu and recipes, hourly and management training programs, access to national purchasing contracts and unit level operating support. The brand is continuously invigorated with ongoing menu development and local and national marketing programs.
The announcement of the franchise offering in Queens County is part of Houlihan’s aggressive plan to create a strong market presence in suburban and outlying neighborhoods throughout the country. Hartnett, a seasoned restaurant franchising veteran who formerly served as president and CEO of Einstein/Noah Bagel Corporation, said the 83-unit chain is seeking ambitious candidates who wish to take control of their destinies through franchise ownership of a proven and popular concept. The company will accept agreements for single- or multi-unit operations, depending on the entrepreneur’s desire and whether the community’s population will support multiple Houlihan’s locations.
In addition, Houlihan’s seeks to open 300 to 400 restaurants in the next 10 years. Houlihan’s will continue to serve its classic menu, ranging from hearty healthy salads to creative pasta dishes to classic entrees and fanciful mini desserts and beverages.
Arnold Runestad, president of ACE Restaurant Group and a Houlihan’s franchisee in New Jersey for four years, said, "The economics and profitability at the store level are the best I have seen in casual dining. My partners and I currently own and operate four Houlihan’s, have two under development and plan to open at least four more in New Jersey. We are also seriously considering purchasing more development rights in other states."
Established in 1972, Houlihan’s is one of America’s most popular eateries, serving up the finest pastas, ribs, desserts and more in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Houlihan’s is owned by Houlihan’s Restaurants. Inc. of Leawood, Kansas, a pioneer in the full-service, casual dining industry that developed and owns several restaurant concepts, comprising more than 100 locations from coast to coast, including Bristol Seafood Grill and Bar, J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks and Darryl’s Restaurant & Bar.