January 13, 2011 // Franchising.com // EDGEWATER, Md. – The Greene Turtle added yet another feather in its cap as 2010 drew to a close, climbing more than 125 spots up Entrepreneur's prestigious Franchise 500 list to #339.
As reported in Entrepreneur's January 2011 issue, the casual dining/sports bar chain, which made its first appearance on the list last January at #465, also received top placement among all sports bar franchises. The acknowledgments cap off a year filled with franchising milestones at The Greene Turtle, including securing a five-unit deal for Fairfax County, Va., introducing franchises to both Virginia and Delaware, and signing agreements for the chain's first franchise sites in Pennsylvania and two East Coast airports.
"Despite the down economy, 2010 was a strong year for us," notes CEO J. Michael Sanford. "We saw continued interest from sophisticated franchise investors. We continued to be approached by commercial developers who saw the huge potential for The Greene Turtle to draw people to their properties. And we continued growing in popularity among core demographics, perhaps most significantly families with kids."
The Greene Turtle opened six units in 2010 and signed franchise agreements for 16. The chain, which plans to have 150 locations throughout the Eastern United States within the next several years, now has commitments in place for 25 more franchise locations and is seeking qualified investors for opportunities in Virginia, North and South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, Georgia and Florida. Interested investors should contact Vice President of Franchise Development Tom Finn, at (410) 956-1200, ext. 121, or email@example.com.
New locations, new markets, a refreshed menu and an ever-vigilant eye on efficiency all helped The Greene Turtle turn in a performance that pushed it further up Entrepreneur's annual franchise listing this past year. The chain remained a popular destination for many seeking a casual, comfortable place to eat, a friendly place to meet up with friends and colleagues for a drink, or a well-equipped venue for watching and root for their favorite teams on TV.
To build on its popularity, The Greene Turtle turned up its marketing volume by establishing a new advertising co-op of company-owned and franchise locations and retaining an outside agency to buy media and expand on its ties to professional sports. Television and radio spots, banners and billboards at local sports arenas, and on-site broadcasts and post-game promotions drove traffic to its locations, complementing the game-day business The Greene Turtle consistently enjoys as one of the Mid-Atlantic region's favorite places to watch televised sports away from home.
Families with young children garnered increased attention in 2010 from the chain, which introduced a Kids Eat Free offer and rewarded young customers with colorful packages of rubber bands shaped like its familiar brand logo. The chain also enhanced its extensive community involvement efforts, which already had included youth sports sponsorships and its Funds for Friends fundraising opportunities for local organizations, by initiating several promotions throughout the year to support the U.S.O.
Sanford says The Greene Turtle is eyeing continued growth and enhancements to its system throughout 2011 and beyond. In 2011, he says, the chain plans to open nine franchise and company-owned sites, to sign franchise deals representing 30 future locations and to have sites under development in the Carolinas, Pennsylvania and possibly farther to the north and south.
"We're honored and delighted that Entrepreneur – and a growing number of sophisticated investors – are taking note of our achievements," he says. "As we continue opening new locations, entering new markets, and improving our franchise and consumer offerings, we hope our status will continue to rise."
First opened in Ocean City, Md., in 1976, The Greene Turtle today includes 26 locations in markets across Maryland and extending into Washington, D.C., Virginia and Delaware. Combining comfort food, a casual atmosphere and a sports bar theme marked by big screen TVs broadcasting local and national events, "The Turtle" has become a popular year-round destination for families and friends of all ages. Franchise opportunities are available throughout the Eastern United States to qualifying investors, who ideally will have experience in restaurant, hospitality or foodservice operations and the financial backing to cover the investment for leased space, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment. Franchisees secure the right to open and operate The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille restaurants, access and apply all its systems, and leverage the company's brand strength and favorable purchasing opportunities. For more information, contact Vice President of Franchise Development Tom Finn at (410) 956-1200, ext. 121, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.thegreeneturtle.com.