Why The Habit Burger Grill Franchise Model Fits the Mold for Diverse, Multi-Unit Owners
Growing up in Compton, California, The Habit Burger Grill multi-unit franchisee Lee Mitchell always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. So much so that when his high school English teacher challenged students to pen letters to their future selves, Mitchell wrote, “I want to become a business owner one day.”
These days, Mitchell is living his entrepreneurial dream, hatching plans to raise the game on hand-crafted burgers in California’s Coachella Valley area. Mitchell, an experienced franchisee of 10 Taco Bell restaurants, is now expanding his portfolio with five new The Habit Burger Grill locations.
For entrepreneurs like Mitchell, The Habit Burger Grill is all about opportunity. In a recent webinar roundtable with other franchise professionals, Mitchell took the floor to discuss his journey to business ownership through franchising, detailing how he worked his way up the ranks from a restaurant manager to owning his own restaurants and how brands can advocate for diversity in franchising. Mitchell also mentions The Habit’s parent company, Yum! Brands, and its education program to help people of color and women interested in franchising at the University of Louisville and Howard University.
The initiative is just one of the ways Yum! Brands and The Habit aim to lift diverse voices and perspectives, championing opportunities for minority franchise owners to better the system and for committed owners like Mitchell. Yum! Brands, which also includes Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, has invested $100 million in “Unlocking Opportunity” grants to champion equity, inclusion, and belonging within its current and future pipeline of franchisees—and beyond.
“I knew that diversifying my portfolio with The Habit Burger Grill was the perfect next step in my career,” Mitchell says. “I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for the majority of my professional life, and no other fast-casual burger concept compares to The Habit Burger Grill. The level of comfort I felt with The Habit’s support team made the decision to grow the brand in Coachella Valley easy for me.”
Known for its signature Charburgers and incomparable fast-casual dining experience, the popular Southern California-based chain delivers in more ways than one with strong AUVs, industry-leading technology, and a business model designed to create an inviting, modern dining experience. The Habit’s flexible footprint, including drive-thru and endcap buildouts, also provides entrepreneurs with a wide range of real estate models fit for any market.
With over 330 restaurants in 14 states—and more than $700 million in sales—The Habit Burger Grill shows no signs of slowing down, poised for continued U.S. growth in several Southeastern and East Coast markets. Yum! Brands CEO, David Gibbs, recently attributed The Habit as the company’s biggest success story.
Prospective Habit Burger Grill franchise owners should possess an entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm for the brand, proven business success in restaurant operations, and the dedicated resources and infrastructure to develop multiple restaurants in a large territory and ideally live and work in the market they wish to build.
Discover your franchise opportunities now at habitburger.com/franchise.
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