Big Whiskey's Serves Up Growth
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Big Whiskey's Serves Up Growth

Big Whiskey's Serves Up Growth

Whether a loyal fan of the brand or a franchisee looking for a solid investment, Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar is all about opportunities.

The emerging brand is in growth mode, backed by leadership with a wealth of operational experience and a community-first approach primed for expansion.

“Big Whiskey’s continues to grow in a market segment where many of our competitors are struggling,” says Austin Herschend, president of Big Whiskey's American Restaurant & Bar. “We are committed to the brand and we show it with our own capital. We aren’t looking to just add franchisees. We are continuing to add more corporate stores at the fastest rate in our company’s history.”

Big Whiskey’s, founded in downtown Springfield, Missouri in 2006, features an All-American premium menu of hand-cut steaks, craft burgers, pastas, appetizers, salads, soups, and sandwiches, with a full bar of more than 100 whiskeys and 20 beers on tap.  

While the restaurant makes spirits approachable with traditional and non-traditional whiskey drinks and celebrates sports, Big Whiskey’s is much more than a bar or spot for sports.  The brand has earned its legendary reputation as a dining destination serving up better food, bigger portions and loyal prices in a welcoming and original way for lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late-night fun. This “4-Opportunities” operational mantra is all about the personal touch.

“We strive to maximize revenue during four key times of day,” notes Herschend. “Over time, we have become our best for each of these day parts, by customizing our ambiance, targeting service times, and featuring select products to reflect what customers crave. A great lunch place is often different than a great dinner place. But at Big Whiskey’s, we strive to be a great anytime, every time place.”

The Big Whiskey’s brand was built around the tradition of sharing a great meal, a toast, or a joke with family, friends, or the person sitting next to you at the bar. The founding leadership team launched franchising roughly three years ago to expand the regional casual dining mainstay in places where franchisees could make a difference in communities the restaurant serves.  

“Like all our investments this was another one we took our time on because we wanted to make sure we got it right,” notes Herschend. “We spent over a year outlining our systems and making sure the process and experience is something we could stand behind. Our franchisees are part of the family and we want to make sure they receive the service they deserve.”

Big Whiskey’s growth strategy is paying off. With nine restaurants in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas, and multi-unit development deals sealed for Las Vegas and Birmingham, Alabama, Big Whiskey’s has posted record sales for corporate stores and opening sales for new franchisees. The proven brand is a solid investment with a strong ROI, low cost of entry, and a decade of tested operational systems.

The concept offers a number of competitive advantages in the industry with higher than average ticket sales and a flexible footprint that makes Big Whiskey’s the perfect fit for both inline and freestanding locations.

“This flexible footprint helps keep costs down versus other brands that require you to buy land and build from the ground up,” explains Herschend. “It also has a direct impact on our sales-to-investment ratio and allows us to see a much faster return on capital.”

The brand practices what it preaches. Strong franchise support is at the core of expansion. Corporate stores are treated as franchisees.

“Our corporate stores pay the same fees and the go through the same process,” Herschend says. “We want to be able to look potential franchisees in the face and tell them the processes are followed and the system works.”

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Published: July 16th, 2018

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