Nathan’s Famous takes the flavor of New York overseas

Nathan’s Famous takes the flavor of New York overseas

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Nathan’s Famous, the American tradition serving “The Flavor of New York” for more than 100 years, is focusing franchise efforts domestically, but importantly, globally. Two new Nathan’s Famous restaurants opened recently in England, with potential master franchise discussions happening currently with operators from the United Arab Emirates and Hungary, to Brazil and Canada.

“Nathan’s Famous is currently in 13 countries worldwide, with many more countries all over the globe offering us an incredible opportunity to take the flavors of New York to markets with an appreciation of American cuisine,” said James Walker, senior vice president, restaurants. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and work in over 65 countries, and I understand that potential franchisees look for best-in-class training, support, high profits, and low costs – all of which our 100-year-old global brand can offer.”

While known for its world-famous beef hot dogs and golden crinkle-cut French fries, Nathan’s offers much more, including best-in-class fresh burgers, cheesesteaks, and heroes, as well as chicken classics.

Its compelling menu can be customized to suit any taste preference in every country. The brand also offers versatile restaurant designs to accommodate a variety of locations, from free-standing units with drive-thrus, to food trucks, and everything in between.

For the past six months, Walker and his restaurant team have accomplished a lot, but much of the focus has been on menu innovation and menu evolution. “There are three words I like to be able to apply to our menu items – I want them to be memorable, crave-able, and Instagrammable. I want our food to truly resonate with our guests on many levels,” said Walker. The Nathan’s team has been working on securing the “four food pillars” of the restaurant’s menu.

Pillar 1 – Nathan’s best-in-class fresh Angus burger program
Nathan’s is in the process of rolling out a fresh burger program offering guests 1⁄2 lb (240g) of fresh Angus beef. Operators are upgrading to state-of-the-art clamshell grills, and early results of the program have been very positive. Burger sales are up dramatically.

Nathan’s has even developed its ‘Best Burger Pledge’: “We take our food fame seriously at Nathan’s Famous, which is why you have our commitment to giving every one of our burgers everything we’ve got. We will use only the highest quality ingredients: 1⁄2 lb (240g) of fresh Angus beef; real, premium American cheese; thick-cut applewood smoked bacon; the freshest, locally sourced produce; artisan buns, and flavorful proprietary seasonings and sauces. We pledge to prepare you New York’s finest.”

Pillar 2 – Nathan’s premium heroes
Authentic New York Specialty Heroes, including the Nathan’s New York Cheesesteak by Pat LaFrieda. Nathan’s partnered with LaFrieda and this fantastic sandwich is made up of black Angus ribeye, caramelized onions, Pat LaFrieda’s Butcher Reserve Steak Sauce, premium quality American cheese, served on a Balthazar baguette. Other Nathan’s hero sandwiches currently being served include a three-cheese meatball parmesan hero, and a premium pastrami and sauerkraut hero.

Pillar 3 – Nathan’s hand-battered program
This program is currently in development and should be in testing in early 2020. The program will feature Nathan’s proprietary batter developed for chicken, onion rings and more.

Pillar 4 – Nathan’s world-famous all-beef hot dogs and crinkle-cut fries
This is a food pillar that hasn’t changed in over 100 years! Nathan’s signature hot dogs are made today with the same secret spice recipe as they were back in 1916. Nathan’s boasts the ultimate hot dog that has been craved by countless fans for generations. And the Nathan’s unique creamy-on-the-inside and crispy- golden-brown-on-the-outside crinkle-cut fries are second to none.

There are a lot of very positive things happening at Nathan’s Famous, and the company is focusing on marketing efforts for the all-important younger generation of future fans. The brand has improved its social media presence and is spending targeted ad dollars to show off the menu evolution. That effort also includes social media influencer events, generating valued impressions and engagement from the top foodie influencers in New York.

Nathan’s has also launched phase one of the Nathan’s Famous custom app, and Nathan’s is proudly served on the top mobile delivery platforms, including UberEats, DoorDash and Postmates for the ultimate guest convenience. Nathan’s Famous is currently developing a catering program that will complement the restaurant business and expand on its success.

B2C and B2B public relations efforts have also garnered the brand tremendous exposure in the United States and worldwide.

“Nathan’s has a considerable amount of consumer loyalty, and is a brand known around the world,” said Walker. “We’re excited to continue to introduce new menu items and a fully revamped restaurant design to new potential partners. We know the opportunity to franchise the flavor of New York will be a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs all over the world.”

• Nathan’s has stood the test of time as a legacy restaurant brand and continues to evolve as ‘The Flavor of New York’ domestically and worldwide
• There are over 250 Nathan’s restaurants all over the world and 70,000 points of distribution – 56,000 at retail and 14,000 in food service
• The Nathan’s Famous concept is unique in the foodservice industry, as its menu, and restaurant designs are flexible
• Nathan’s sold over 700 million hot dogs last year


Name of franchise: Nathan’s Famous
Established: 1916
Number of franchised outlets: 250
Location of units: 13 countries
Investment range: Multiple investment ranges
Minimum required capital: Varies by market size

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