Married couple Pace Webb and Chris Georgalas operate Daddy’s Chicken Shack in a tight 700 square foot space located on Craiglist in Pasadena, California.
There’s little to no foot traffic, no bathrooms, no indoor seating, and it’s set in front of a red sidewalk, which means there’s no parking.
These factors did not prevent the restaurant from seeing its sales increase by 200% during the pandemic. It also didn’t deter a slew of investors from learning about growth opportunities, leading Webb and Georgalas to consider whether to grow as a business or through franchising.
The research led to Dr Ben Litalien, founder of FranchiseWell, an agency that consults with UPS and IKEA. Then this partnership turned into an investment from Dave Liniger, the co-founder and CEO of the global real estate franchise RE / MAX, which chose Daddy’s from among 200 potential candidates.
Now the Chicken brand is building a state-of-the-art flagship restaurant and franchise training center in Houston with technological innovations, a creative interior and, of course, high traffic, bathrooms. , seats and parking.
“[Liniger] is the king of franchising, and he made all the mistakes, ”says Webb. “And he said to me,” We’re going to team up and I’m going to show you what I did that took me 50 years, and it won’t take you 50 years. This is the value that I bring in addition to the capital.
Papa’s selection of chicken sandwiches is best described as a confluence of the culture of Southeast Asia, South America and Japan, in part an ode to Georgalas, which is half Japanese. . For example, the Big Daddy Sandwich includes napa coleslaw and sriracha mayonnaise, while the Spicy Daddy includes sambal, cilantro, and ginger mayonnaise. For dessert, the restaurant offers savory miso chocolate chip cookies, baked fresh daily.
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Daddy’s rise began in 2013 with Taste of Pace, a Los Angeles-based gourmet restaurant business. For one event, she was asked to cook sliders and tacos, which was not on her menu. But Webb made it work and developed a recipe for a fried chicken sandwich with sriracha mayonnaise, Thai coleslaw, buttermilk fried chicken, and a brioche bun.
The food was a hit and drew praise from actress and singer Mandy Moore, who was in attendance. Webb started to think, wondering if that might turn him into something bigger.
“The next day I called my father,” she recalls. “It’s so much fun calling your parents to tell them these crazy LA stories. And I said, ‘Daddy, this could be a retirement plan. You can just hang out on the Venice pier wearing a Hawaiian shirt, flirt with the ladies, fry the chicken. and I said, ‘We can call him daddy,’ and he’s got that big belly laugh. And I said, ‘Oh, Daddy’s Chicken Shack. That sounds good.
The idea has remained dormant, although the sandwich has been continuously perfected. Then Webb met Georgalas in 2015, who took a bite of it and said, “This is your Shake Shack. This is how you are going to reach people with your delicious food and your message.
In early 2018, Webb and Georgalas opened Daddy’s at the Smorgasburg Food Market. The weekly event drew around 4,000 customers when the restaurant joined the restaurant, but saw over 13,000 at times. Hundreds of sandwiches were sold every day, with positive feedback.
Later that year, around August, Georgalas found the 700 square foot location in Pasadena. The couple signed the lease soon after and moved in in about 18 days. Daddy’s officially opened on November 1, 2018, while Webb continued his restaurant business and Georgalas kept his job in the financial industry. In addition, Webb was carrying their first child.
“I had two babies at the same time,” says Webb. “I had a restaurant, and a little [human] baby.”
Given the location and less-than-stellar amenities, the two knew that relying on signage and the storefront alone wouldn’t be enough to entice customers. But Georgalas, who trained as a Wall Street trader for Deutsche Bank, recalled the e-commerce shift he saw with the acceleration of Amazon and the precipitous fall of Blockbuster.