Huddle House Opens New Research and Development Center, Tests Enhanced Menu
ATLANTA, GA – Huddle House, a nationwide family restaurant franchise known for serving any meal, all day for more than 40 years, announced today the opening of a new test kitchen and research and development center in Atlanta designed to develop new menu items and increase service and quality efficiency at the chain's 420+ locations around the country.
The news of the R&D center follows last month's announcement that Huddle House had partnered with Allied Capital, Inc. in a $124 million acquisition deal. The fast-growing chain is quickly gaining momentum with successful expansion efforts outside of its southeast core into the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. In the last four years alone, Huddle House has opened 123 new stores in various states including Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and Texas. System-wide sales last year were $215 million.
The development of the new R&D facility was instrumental in attracting Huddle House's new Director of Product Development, Damon Paolozzi. Paolozzi served as Corporate Chef for Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits for over five years prior to joining Huddle House in July of 2006.
"The investment of resources in research and development demonstrated to me that Huddle House is not only a trusted brand with a long heritage in the South, but a truly dynamic company with bright future," Paolozzi said. "At the R&D center, we will be looking at everything from cooking methods and efficiency in the kitchen to the creation of new menu items. It's also a place where we can improve upon every aspect of our operations. We want every guest who walks in to a Huddle House to walk out having had an enjoyable experience from top to bottom. In order to achieve that we have to constantly examine what we're offering and always look for areas of innovation and improvement."
The new R&D center is designed to look and function precisely as any other Huddle House location's kitchen. Already, a new menu is being tested in more than 30 Huddle House locations, which includes items such as "Country Fried Steak and Eggs." Paolozzi's first main order of business in the R&D Center will be the beginning stages of testing trans-fat free oils in cooking many Huddle House dishes.
"Our new R& D center is head and shoulders above best practices in the industry," said Huddle House President & CEO Phil Greifeld. "Damon's skill and experience in research and development for national restaurant chains, coupled with a state-of-the-art facility, will prove instrumental in providing our customers with a wide variety of new menu options as well as quality service and delivery of our traditional favorites,"
ABOUT HUDDLE HOUSE
Huddle House, Inc., founded in 1964, offers a wide variety of cooked to order food, fresh off the grill for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Known for serving any meal, all day, Huddle House features signature "Big House" breakfast and sandwich platters, lunchtime salads and USDA Choice steak dinners. The Atlanta-based 420-unit nationwide family restaurant franchise located in 17 states throughout the Southeast, Missouri and mid-Atlantic regions had annual system wide sales of $215 million last year. For more information, call 1-800-418-9555 or visit the Web site at HuddleHouse.com.
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