The most winning coach in National Football League History and restaurateur, Don Shula, recently kicked off his newest concept – Shula Burger. This past fall, the first location opened in the Florida Keys in Islamorada; it is located in the Postcard Inn.
2012 has other planned Florida locations that include: Fort Lauderdale; Delray Beach; Kendall; Orlando; and Tampa. These locations will also include a wine bar where guests will get a wine tasting card; they can choose from 16 different one-ounce pours.
“No other burger place offers this type of concept,” says Bill Herman, Media Relations for Shula Burger. “It’s really unique.”
In addition to wine and burgers, Shula Burger’s also offers salads, chicken sandwiches, fries, shakes, cold beers and flat screen TVs.
Shula’s Signature Burgers are freshly made from a blend of premium Black Angus Beef, short rib and brisket. The “Wine Country” burger is topped with roasted peppers, fresh goat cheese, balsamic greens and roasted tomatoes. Shula’s ”Southwest” burger features roasted corn and black bean salsa, charred red onion, pepper jack cheese topped with a delicious chipotle spread. Or, guests can create their own burger and select from deluxe toppings such as caramelized onions, avocado, Shula’s BBQ sauce, double-cut, peppered bacon and more. Top menu sellers are the French onion burger and sweet potato tots.
“But, its ‘The Don’ that we are really proud of says,” Herman. “Coach Shula is actually a big fan of the hotdog so we had to figure out a way to work it into the menu. ‘The Don’ is a combination quarter pound hamburger and one hotdog on a bun. It’s fun and tastes amazing! It’s two American classics rolled into one. You just can’t go wrong.”
Don Shula has been in the restaurant industry since 1989 and has 34 full-service restaurants, nationwide, including Shula’s Steak Houses and Shula’s 347 Grill. Plans for the future include continued growth in the southeast and northeast first and then eventually, national.
Shula’s is expecting to have more than 100 locations under development across the nation within five years.
Herman adds that the numbers at the first Shula Burger location exceeded what they had originally expected so they are confident that growth will be fast and furious.
“This is an exciting concept that caters to customers who want a fast-casual experience in a warm and friendly environment,” said Don Shula.
Number of seats at a Shula Burger? 60 to 80 interior; outdoor seating ranges based on space – on average the total square footage is 2,000 to 2,500 square feet.
Start-up cost for franchise? $40,000 up front fee; $30,000 for territorial deal (purchasing one more than one location in a territory); 6% franchise fees.
Marketing/advertising style? Social Media and national airline advertising.
Type of décor: Warm – wood floors, bright accents that vary – mostly reds and greens
What is support like for franchisees? Public relations and marketing; Coach Shula appears at all openings.
Do the restaurants have any community involvement? All openings are tied into a local charity.
BY LIISA SULLIVAN