Danny Bone, who co-owns the two Austin Elevation Burger franchises with younger brother Dennis and nephew Ronnie, aims to sell tasty burgers with a health conscious bend. About two years ago they opened a new drive-thru location at 10611 Research Blvd. in Austin. In September 2012 Dennis told the Community Impact Newspaper that “We’re excited about opening the other one because it’ll be more exposure.”
Excited about growth
Elevation Burger is a truly unique hamburger chain/franchise. Hans Hess and his wife April opened the first Elevation Burger in 2005. Driven by a passion for good food that’s organic, sustainable and fresh. Their hamburgers use organic, grass-fed beef. They even serve a vegetarian and vegan burger. You can add all kinds of toppings on your burgers, serve it on a bun or a crisp lettuce wrap, get the only french fries that are fried in olive oil (through their patented process) as well as some incredible milk shakes. It is no surprise they have seen the success that they have in a marketplace that is starting to crave a healthier food selection. Everything about Elevation Burger seems to make it a great fit for a city like Austin, TX.
Yet despite Dennis’ enthusiasm their newest location closed pretty shortly after it opened.
We’re sad for the Bone family and wish them huge success in the future.
Failure – and now for the rest of the story….
This is the the drive-through location that met an untimely death.
10611 Research Blvd. is located on the service road of a major highway. Right next door to this location is a Costco with a gas station. The area is fairly densely populated in a solid middle class neighborhood. Not too far away, on the other side of the highway they have what appears to be a successful sit down restaurant. There is a McDonalds, a Chick-Fil-A and several other fast food restaurants less than a minute away.
You couldn’t ask for a better place with the volume of drive by traffic this location had. Locating in a retail area with a high density of retail traffic that is comprised of its so-called target demographic would seem to be a no brainer.
Why did they fail?
Our research indicates that there are two factors that contributed to the location’s demise:
1. This location was a drive-through location and perhaps the slower Elevation Burger experience is not as well suited to the dynamics of a drive-through location.
2. Our algorithm evaluated over 15,000 data points concluding that rather than being a “no-brainer” this location was “High-Risk.” Despite the surface similarities to other successful locations the franchisee didn’t understand all the factors that make a location low risk.
Traffic is not all you should be looking for in picking the ideal retail location.
So why do you think they closed so quickly?
If you were in their situation would you have opened that location?
We’d love your feedback, please chime in.
P.S. This is one reason why the Franchise King, Joel Libava was so excited that there is finally a way to predict if a franchise location will be successful.