The Hawaii-based restaurant chain is in lease negotiations with Kamehameha Schools to open a restaurant in Haleiwa that would include a bar – a first for the company.
Ted Tsakiris, co-owner of Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, stands in front of the company’s new Kapolei location that is set to open in March.
Stula said the restaurant would have more of a sports bar feel to it, while incorporating a surfing element. He said a couple of the company’s existing locations could potentially accommodate a bar.
“We’re going to definitely see how it goes in Haleiwa and work out the kinks,” he said, adding that the Waikiki and Aiea restaurants potentially could have a bar added to them.
Meanwhile, the company plans to open its 10th Oahu restaurant in Kapolei in early March. A franchisee also is in lease negotiations to open a restaurant in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers also is expanding on the Mainland, with two restaurants opening in Washington and one in Southern California. It is also negotiating franchises for three or four restaurants in Dallas.
Tsakiris said he anticipates at least a 50 to 75 percent national growth rate after the Southern California restaurant opens later this year.
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers is also expanding internationally for the first time, with a deal for a licensee to open nine restaurants in the Philippines over the next three years, the first of which is scheduled to open this summer.
Altogether, the company has 27 restaurants open or under contract, not including the handful of Texas restaurants.
“We’re quite surprised,” Stula said about the company’s recent growth. Its first restaurant opened in 1998.
Tsakiris said the company’s growth is slow compared to its competitors.
“Our contemporaries in the burger segment are opening thousands and thousands of stores, and quite frankly we are more than OK with this slow, sustained growth,” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to develop at a healthy clip while keeping a close eye on local and national market trends and global indicators as to where this very mature segment is heading in the next 20 years.”
Stula said he and the company’s operating partners that he has worked with since the 1990s never thought the company would be able to open four restaurants in a year, as Teddy’s did last year in Honolulu, Ewa Beach, Kaneohe and a franchise restaurant in Iowa.
“The thought of it was unimaginable, but we did it,” he said.