Meet Derrick Hayes, a 36-year-old Philadelphia native and CEO of Huge Dave’s Cheesesteaks, who bought over $2.3 million value of Philly cheesesteaks in Atlanta simply final yr alone. He owns 5 eating places within the space and is now on a mission to take his iconic sandwiches nationwide, aiming to open 100 franchise areas by 2025.
“I am a visionary, I am a dreamer.” Hayes informed CNBC. “Franchising is one thing that I thought of years in the past, however I did not have the expertise or the workforce to do it.”
Hayes just lately began the franchise course of, practically a decade since he began his enterprise. In 2014, he opened a dessert store at a fuel station in Georgia known as Huge Dave’s Water Ice, which is known as after his late father who ignited his entrepreneurial spirit. When he struggled with promoting frozen treats, he determined to do cheesesteaks.
Hayes additionally had a difficult begin with Huge Dave’s Cheesesteaks however he obtained his large break when rapper and TV host Eve, a fellow Philadelphian, tried his cheesesteak. Eve raved about it on social media, boosting his enterprise in a single day.
In August 2019, Hayes opened his flagship retailer in downtown Atlanta. Sadly, the pandemic briefly closed it in March 2020, and it was additionally broken through the civil unrest following George Floyd’s homicide. Throughout these difficult occasions, Pinky Cole, founding father of Slutty Vegan, a plant-based-food franchise, reached out to supply help. Their connection in enterprise blossomed into romance, and they’re now married with a rising household.
Furthermore, Huge Dave’s Cheesesteaks has seen exceptional development, along with his flagship Atlanta location producing over $2.3 million in income prior to now yr alone. The model is increasing, with a number of areas in Georgia, together with three inside Mercedes Benz Stadium. There’s additionally a location in suburban Atlanta, and one is about to open in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Now, Hayes needs to ascertain Huge Dave’s Cheesesteaks in main cities throughout the nation, looking for franchisees who share his imaginative and prescient. Initially, Hayes is looking for franchisees within the meals trade, however he aspires to encourage those that might have confronted authorized points, lack a university diploma, or lack expertise to pursue their enterprise desires.
“I need to cope with individuals who care about folks. The client isn’t flawed, we stand on that,” Hayes says. “I would like folks to really feel prefer it’s theirs. Huge Dave’s is not only a restaurant; we stand for the neighborhood, for peace, and for tradition.”
Be taught extra about Huge Dave’s Cheesesteaks by way of its official web site at BigDavesWay.com