Perkins Names New CDO, Is Ready to Grow

The 290-unit breakfast brand has robust financial backing and new buildouts.

Photo Courtesy of Wolterke.

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery is a 63-year-old brand best known for being a pioneer in the $11 billion bakery segment, as well as serving up decadent breakfast fare. But one of the things that attracted franchising veteran and newly minted chief development officer Peter Ortiz to the brand was how balanced the restaurant’s sales are throughout the day. Generating revenue across four dayparts, breakfast accounts for 35 percent of sales, while lunch makes up 32 percent, dinner 26 percent, and late-night 8 percent.


Another number that piqued Ortiz’s interest: the brand boasted a $1.74 million AUV throughout 2020 during the height of the pandemic. As the country reopens, Ortiz expects the future to be even brighter than the brand’s pre-pandemic norms.


“Everywhere I’ve been in this industry, we’ve won,” says Ortiz, whose resume boasts stints at QDOBA, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Carvel, and Schlotzky’s. “We’re going to see that same success at Perkins because all the stars have aligned. Ascent Hospitality Management, who owns Huddle House, is pouring millions into growing and innovating this concept. We are a top five breakfast brand in a $285 million segment with invested multi-unit franchisees and strong corporate leadership driving our momentum.”


Founded in 1958, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery recently merged with Huddle House in 2019. With Ortiz on board as chief development officer, both brands are entering a new phase of growth. The full-service concepts are specifically welcoming multi-unit operators looking to diversify their franchise portfolio with a unique concept that doesn’t focus on chicken, burgers, pizza, or any of the other products that crowd the franchise space.


“My kind of franchisee group is a company that doesn’t want to compete with another person in their market,” Ortiz says. “They want to get the rights to not only dominate the market they know so well, but to grow it even further outside of that. They know how hot breakfast is as a segment and want to team up with one of the most iconic breakfast brands and grow stores—that’s the type of franchisee we’re looking for.”


As a testament to the fanaticism that surrounds the Perkins brand and menu, Ortiz points to an Edinboro, Pennsylvania location which burned to the ground six years ago but was recently rebuilt to great fanfare. He says this is a metaphor for the brand’s general trajectory.


“It’s a great story about restaurant revitalization,” Ortiz says. “This is a very exciting time for Perkins Restaurant & Bakery—we are changing our footprint to 4,100 square feet and optimizing our menu. Our sales are already doing better than they were in 2019 and I really see the sky as the limit for Perkins.”


Source: 2021 FSR Magazine.

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