Bareburger Eyes Nationwide Expansion with Buxton’s Guidance

Bareburger partnered with Buxton to understand their potential throughout the U.S.

Bareburger Co-founder and CEO Euripedes Pelekanos discusses the company's need to use analytics and data for site selection outside of the New York market. Pelekanos is quoted as saying, "If you miss on the real estate, no matter how hard you work and how much energy you put into the food and service, you will not win." The Bareburger team uses SCOUT for their site selection in new markets.

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>>EURIPIDES PELEKANOS: Hi. My name is Euripides Pelekanos, Co-Founder and CEO of Bareburger. Bareburger started in 2008.

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>>EURIPIDES PELEKANOS: It was a pretty simple idea then and it’s a pretty simple idea now. It’s to serve a local, sustainable, and organic food to our guests. We’ve spent almost all of our energy and time on sourcing our food. That has been the focus from day one and we always felt that regardless of what the economic situation was, people would always seek out clean and better-quality food and were always willing to pay a little bit more for it just to have that knowledge, that wellbeing, that experience, and what we’ve become more and more these days is a place where people bring their kids.

There has never really been room for error in the restaurant world. From the consistency of your food, how your restaurant is marketed, how your restaurant is branded, the experience that guests come in, and the one thing that you can never go wrong on is real estate. If you miss on the real estate, regardless of how hard you work and how much time and energy you put into the food and the service, you will not win. That’s just, that’s just the harsh truth.

Our focus was always growing in our back yard and we’ve been lucky enough to find good franchisees and good partners that have [laughs] – pretty crazy – have opened up in five different countries. As we were starting to see the challenges of real estate, especially outside of our comfort zone being New York, I mean we’re all New York guys, we didn’t only want to rely on information from real estate brokers, especially on the outer markets because real estate brokers are real estate brokers [laughs]. So we needed higher level analytic or tool to start filtering locations and giving us the scientific data on locations to go along with what I would say our gut instincts.

One of the main reasons we signed up with Buxton is that we wanted to see what our overall future opportunity was, what we call our pipeline for Bareburgers in the U.S. and based on all of the financial information and the demographics that Buxton has gathered over the years, shot out a number that potential investors are really happy to see. I think it was a little north of 600 restaurants was our overall potential to build in the next 20 years. And it’s been very cool [laughs] to see our reaction. They’re almost like, oh wow it’s almost like a magic, you know, magic ball or a magic 8 ball, take an address, shake it up, and see if it’s going to fit for them.

What I think is really great about Buxton is that if we’re unsure about a location, we’ll reach out to the guys at Buxton and they’ll send us a full detailed analysis of that area. We’ve probably used it over 150 times, plugging in addresses across the country and it’s shooting out data that I have no idea how we would have gathered that data otherwise.

This is a tool that obviously comes at an expense, but if the dollars that you save throughout the years and especially if you’re looking to open up quite a few restaurants, how do you not have a tool like this in your back pocket?

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