Largest Freddy’s Franchisee Puts Big Chain Experience to Work | Franchise Finance


Jason Ingermanson, president and CEO of JRI Hospitality, wasn’t even contemplating Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers when he was prepared to get into franchising. In actuality, he hadn’t even listened to of the brand name.

Ingermanson was wanting at Timberline Steakhouse when a enterprise lunch took him to Freddy’s. From there, he was hooked.

“I fell in adore with the food items,” Ingermanson stated. “I had two more conferences about obtaining the steakhouses with them, but every time I’d push by Freddy’s in Wichita, my mouth would h2o, and I considered, ‘this just can’t just be me. There is received to be some thing to this.’ So, I requested if I could own the territory legal rights in Salina, Kansas.”

Salina, in which JRI Hospitality is based mostly, became home to the 17th Freddy’s in the procedure when Ingermanson opened his locale in 2009. JRI now operates 73 Freddy’s in 14 states, with yet another established to open up soon, and is the system’s largest franchisee.

JRI’s dining places generated $118 million in profits in 2021, landing it on the Franchise Instances Cafe 200 for the 1st time, at No. 128. In addition to Freddy’s, JRI operates Chompie’s New York Deli and Bakery, the Original Grande Tacos & Burritos and Mokas Café.

Mokas marked the start off of JRI, with Ingermanson opening the coffee shop in a 400-sq.-foot shopping mall location in 2003. He was not new to the restaurant market, nevertheless.

Ingermanson traces all those roots back again to his times at Bethany Faculty, wherever he worked part time at a Burger King in Lindsborg, Kansas. He went on to various managerial roles about 8 decades at Burger King right before switching to complete-assistance dining places.


Jason Ingermanson

Drawing on field knowledge

Ingermanson continues to attract on his history as he grows JRI’s footprint in the Freddy’s procedure. Freddy’s, acquired by Thompson Avenue Money Associates in March 2021, has extra than 400 places to eat.

“Working in larger chains, I had encounter to bring to the desk,” Ingermanson stated. “For instance, Freddy’s was pretty targeted on dine-in companies when I started off. In actuality, the founders did not have any push-via experience.”

“An early concentration for us was on push-thrus and velocity of assistance,” he continued. “We had been the initially to have a drive-via timer. We set a person up to know how productive we could be, not to take shortcuts. There are teaching ways you can just take with that, to locate how rapidly we can and really should be.”

Ingermanson claimed he was also capable to lead input early on in internet site selection and enhancement. His main functioning officer, Oren Molovinsky, brought even a lot more expertise to the table, acquiring labored at his father’s restaurant ahead of likely on to do the job as director of eating places for Marriot Hotels for seven years. Molovinsky was a handling companion of Good Eating Cafe Groups in Washington, D.C., in advance of conference Ingermanson in 2013.

The encounter JRI brought to Freddy’s has been used at other units, too, as Ingermanson mentioned they’ve aided operators in the system with staffing and teaching. That instruction, he pointed out, is crucial to the achievement of Freddy’s.

“It’s not only about serving our attendees to the very best of our capability, but also nurturing our people,” Ingermanson reported. “We’re escalating now mainly because of our folks. Even as a result of COVID when there was a lot of position displacement, our retention was actually good. I think it’s mainly because of the process, where by we handle folks like companions.”


JRI operates 73 Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers models in 14 states.

Achievements and expansion

JRI’s potent operations are reflected in its publications, with two a long time of double-digit sales raises.

“With gas rates increasing, we’re beginning to see some of that peter off in 2022, but we’re nonetheless at pace to crack $132 million this year with just our Freddy’s,” Ingermanson stated. “We likely will have an further $50 million in income with our other ideas.”

Inflation is envisioned to be yet another headwind. Ingermanson claimed site visitors counts are flat but he’s built pricing changes to enable offset the modify in how buyers are spending.

In terms of territory, Ingermanson stated 15 states is probably the limit for JRI. “We’re enthusiastic to see advancement in spots we’re by now running,” he explained. He mentioned the team is opening eating places in Delaware “because it’s close to Philadelphia, the place we currently work. It’s not our intention to maintain heading into more and a lot more states. Following 15 it turns into a lot more hard when you don’t have a great deal of suppliers there by now, and you really don’t have that foundation of support in the location.”

JRI’s Freddy’s are gaining traction in Arizona, Ga, Nevada and Utah, markets ripe for a lot more progress.

“Freddy’s is not a residence name in any condition but, so we’re seeking to focus that advancement and growth in these states we’re working so a lot more folks affiliate us with their favored greater burger strategy,” Molovinsky stated. “We’re content with the progress in those people states. For instance, in Arizona and Nevada, they are having populace improves ideal now and we’re seeing a very favorable organization climate in people states.”

JRI Hospitality is established to open five or six Freddy’s this yr.