What Is Great Steak?
America’s Premier Cheesesteak franchise is a low-cost investment opportunity that is ramping up for rapid nationwide expansion
Perhaps no other sandwich has benefitted more from the broadening of the American palate than the cheesesteak. In recent years, nearly every national publication, including print news, magazine journalism and television, has devoted ink and airtime to spotlight the classic American sandwich. The Internet is especially important, as it has granted the millions of Americans who are cheesesteak enthusiasts a forum to discuss, argue and admire everything about why the cheesesteak sandwich, invented during the Great Depression as an alternative to hot dogs, is so great: the simplicity of the ingredients, the authenticity, the history. They also can debate where to find the best cheesesteak anywhere in the world.
As the media has taken note, so have national brands. A version of a cheesesteak is featured on the menus of SUBWAY®, Jersey Mike’s®, Wawa® and Firehouse Subs®. Even farther afield, Papa John’s® offers a cheesesteak pizza, and Herr’s® sells cheesesteak-flavored potato chips. While the exposure is helping to get the word out about cheesesteaks, for the millions of loyalists, the biggest sticking point is authenticity.
Thrillist® published an article called “10 Ways to Spot a Fake Philly Cheesesteak,” which finds Tony Luke’s® of Philadelphia declaring that a cheesesteak isn’t authentic if “it doesn’t have American cheese or provolone,” and that the bread “should be slightly crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.”¹ So amid the debate, the media coverage and the growing demand for great, traditional cheesesteaks, is there a national brand that is getting the cheesesteak right?
Enter the Great Steak™ franchise opportunity.
With more than 100 locations across the nation, America’s Premier Cheesesteak® franchise was founded by two brothers who fell in love with cheesesteak on a trip to Philadelphia in 1982. Great Steak was one of the first brands to bring the classic cheesesteak experience to the rest of America. Led by a passionate executive team with proven experience in growing franchise systems, Great Steak is poised to become the premier cheesesteak franchise nationwide as it captures a significant share of the nearly $22 billion-plus sandwich industry, according to IBISWorld®².
“Our growth over the three decades we’ve been in business comes down to our unwavering commitment to the cheesesteak,” says Walter Mejia, Vice President of Operations. “When it comes to cheesesteak, if you don’t do it right and authentic, you will hear about it from your customers. Our brand’s customers are very passionate: the cheesesteak is not just a sandwich, it’s a category all its own. Customers will drive miles and miles just to get a good cheesesteak. The Great Steak cheesesteak has won a rapidly growing base of customers who are loyal, excited and find enormous enjoyment in our commitment to the cheesesteak.”
Bring the Great Steak franchise to your community
With a low initial investment, Great Steak is a chance for new and experienced entrepreneurs to become a community’s go-to local restaurant for the classic American cheesesteak experience. You can own and manage a business that focuses on the cheesesteak in its classic form, as well as in new and innovative styles.
“People who love cheesesteaks really love Great Steak,” says John Wuycheck, Senior Vice President of Kahala Brands™, which is the parent company of the Great Steak cheesesteak franchise. “If a franchisee brings the confidence and enthusiasm for great-tasting cheesesteaks, we can teach them the cheesesteak business. Our training process maps out our simple in-store operations — they rely on attention to detail, which makes for great-tasting cheesesteaks every time a customer walks in through the doors. We can help first-time restaurant owners grow in the underserved market of cheesesteak lovers in America and beyond.”
Great Steak’s experienced business model makes it a great investment
Great Steak is a low-cost investment opportunity with potential for high returns. The initial investment ranges from $146,600 to $511,050 for either of our experienced business models. The food court counter and the in-line restaurant were designed to be easy to operate and to help maximize sales. Here is what you need to know about our two franchise concepts:
Food Court Model: This is the perfect option for a savvy entrepreneur who wants to run a simple business with a small staff, low overhead and few moving parts. Our food court counters are custom-designed to showcase the theatricality of cooking a cheesesteak: when customers walk up to a Great Steak in a food court, they get a perfect view of their cheesesteak being cooked. Our strong history in malls across America for more than 30 years demonstrates that this model can generate a rapid return on investment. In our three decades in business, Great Steak has developed relationships with several of the largest mall companies in America, and they cannot wait for Great Steak to enter their marketplaces.
“Great Steak is unique in that our quality products and fresh ingredients make it very easy to establish lifelong relationships with our customers,” says Nidal al-Farah, owner of three Great Steak cheesesteak franchises in Indiana. “From a franchisee perspective, the support that the executive team gives us is second-to-none. I have never felt like I was just a number. If I have any questions at all, I know they will help me find a solution. It’s a low investment; but more importantly, it has a relatively quick return on that investment. I would open more locations in a heartbeat.”
In-Line Restaurant: This model is for savvy entrepreneurs who want to bring the classic American cheesesteak experience to the heart of their communities. Our restaurants require a small footprint, a small staff and low overhead, and the Great Steak executive team will actively work with you to find the best location for your business. In addition, initial training will be extensive, and the Great Steak team will assist you in growing your business as you become the premier cheesesteak restaurant in your community.
“We are very excited about our Great Steak in-line model,” Walter says. “After opening in Ohio in 2015, our brand has an incredibly loyal and devoted customer base. That speaks volumes about the public’s love for cheesesteaks and how underserved this segment of the market really is. According to Forbes®, Americans spend an average of $1,000 on lunch every year³, and considering the market for high-quality and locally made sandwiches is through the roof, Great Steak is primed to capture a significant share of the market.”
How Great Steak franchisees benefit from the power of Kahala Brands
One of the biggest positives franchising with Great Steak is that you get the support of Kahala Brands, a global franchisor that specializes in growing the 20 QSR brands in its portfolio, including Cold Stone Creamery®, Blimpie®, Pinkberry® (in the U.S. only) and Planet Smoothie®, to name a few. Kahala Brands’ power is reflected in its annual systemwide sales of nearly $735 million, and in its 3,000-plus locations in 28 countries around the world.
“Franchising with Kahala Brands gives our franchisees access to a vertically integrated system of support that includes everything from marketing, distribution, real-estate, trademarks, IT services including POS systems, managed IT services, and much, much more,” says Jeff Smit, Chief Operating Officer of Kahala Brands. “Great Steak franchisees are supported every day, from the rolling out of limited-time offerings, to training, to professional help with business plans, to how to effectively market in their communities to grow their customer base. This allows our franchisees to focus on what they do best: giving our brand’s customers the best cheesesteak experience around.”
Bingo Barnes, “10 Ways to Spot A Fake Philly Cheesesteak,” Thrillist, June 26, 2015, https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/10-ways-to-spot-a-fake-philly-cheesesteak.
“Sandwich and Sub Store Franchises in the US: Market Research Report,” October 2015, http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/sandwich-sub-store-franchises.html.
Halah Touryalai, “Lunchtime: Americans Spend Nearly $1K Annually Eating Out For Lunch,” Forbes, September 25, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/09/25/ lunchtime-americans-spend-nearly-1k-annually-eating-out-for-lunch/#772264e23b19.