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5 Reasons Owning a Wienerschnitzel Franchise co-Branded with Tastee-Freez Makes a Great Alternative to a Dairy Queen Franchise

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Innovative menu and TEN consecutive years of same-store sales growth differentiate the hot dog franchise opportunity Wienerschnitzel ahead of Dairy Queen in the hot dog QSR space

Since 1961, Wienerschnitzel hot dog franchise opportunity has served millions of happy guests with the ultimate hot dog experience. In 2003, Tastee-Freez joined the Wienerschnitzel franchise family, and today, is a highly successful co-brand throughout 330 locations.

Combining a Wienerschnitzel franchise with Tastee-Freez provides franchise owners with a significant opportunity to compete against Dairy Queen. To understand the power of this combination, you need to know a little history about the Wienerschnitzel story.

Wienerschnitzel hot dog franchise opportunity celebrates its California roots

Wienerschnitzel started when founder John Galardi, opened a single location on California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway. The first location, opened in Wilmington, CA in 1961, and became an instant success. Early on, a trip up the PCH meant stopping at “Der Wienerschnitzel” for hot dogs.

Galardi’s business model was simple: serve delicious, piping-hot chili dogs at a value price point, with great customer service, and win repeat customers.  The model was a huge hit at a time when burger and taco concepts were starting to aggressively dot the landscape. As the brand rapidly grew in Los Angeles during the mid-1960’s, “Der Wienerschnitzel” operated under a small, but memorable A-Frame building. Customer ordering options were a walk-up window – and the first-ever – drive-THRU the building car service. Pretty soon, the colorful Wienerschnitzel A-frame restaurants were opening throughout the southwestern U.S.

Today, Wienerschnitzel is the world’s largest hot dog chain, with more than 300 locations across 10-states – and growing. When Galardi Group, Inc. purchased Tastee-Freez in 2003, the company knew they had a winning formula combining hot dogs and delicious soft-serve on the menu.  In short order, the iconic Tastee-Freez brand became a big success as a sales add-on for Wienerschnitzel franchisees. It further became apparent, positioning the company to compete with Dairy Queen and other franchise concepts with dessert offerings.

Here are five reasons that make Wienerschnitzel/ Tastee-Freez a great alternative to Dairy Queen:

Nostalgia drives Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez growth

Both Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez are well-established brands that also enjoy strong nostalgia among its customers. During the pandemic, customers flocked to comfort foods, especially hot dogs and ice cream. Sales soared in 2020 and have continued as repeat guests return to satisfy a familiar but nostalgic craving.

Wienerschnitzel Franchise sundaes“There are few experiences that stand out more to our guests than a perfect hot dog and a soft-serve dessert,” says Galardi Group president, JR Galardi. “These are two treats that really suck people back in time, and help make happy memories. More importantly for our franchisees, this nostalgia fuel has not slowed down as short-term fad. Many new guests are returning more frequently than ever before.”

As vast people have moved away from California in recent years, they took with them the happy memories of the hot dog franchise opportunity Wienerschnitzel. This is part of what is driving the brand into new markets across the country. The combination of America’s favorite hot dog with an old-fashioned, soft-serve ice cream, creates a dining experience that draws customers in virtually every market.

Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez are a successful franchise combination with big growth potential

The decision to join a franchise system is driven by the desire to jumpstart a turn-key business with a highly visible brand name, desirable products, and the potential for continued growth. Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez tick these boxes, and they do so in a profitable model, much credit is due to historically low food costs of both brands.

The total investment necessary to open a Wienerschnitzel location ranges from $303,600 to $1,443,000. These costs depend heavily on a number of factors, such as real estate, the franchise model you build, and leasehold improvements to your commercial space.

Americans consume more than 20 billion hot dogs a year, making the market for these delicious treats massive. There is no question there is an appetite for a menu that does not focus on typical burgers, chicken, pizza or tacos in this QSR space.

Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez franchise models offer smaller building footprints than many competitors

Most QSR franchise models require hefty investments that include large dining room spaces to serve its patrons. During the pandemic, many brands created new building concepts overnight that focuses more heavily on the drive thru and mobile ordering. While this adaptation to future growth has yet to be seen, Wienerschnitzel continues its dominance with drive-thru leading the way in a smaller footprint.

As much as 1/3 of the Wienerschnitzel system does not have a dining room, and have thrived – even better in many cases, than those locations with dining rooms. The Galardi Group continues to invest and refine its speed-of-service training and operations at a time when customers have gravitated away from traditional QSR inside dining.  This trend, primarily seen during the pandemic year, may permanently alter the dining landscape in the QSR space.

Our classic approach to hot dogs and ice cream focuses on a walk-up and drive-thru service model with limited “dine-in” availability. A Wienerschnitzel franchise owner can often avoid certain construction costs of a large dining room and enjoy the benefits of lower overhead for maintenance, as well.

One of the great benefits of the “Heritage” models is that franchise owners are not locked into large, expensive lots. Instead, they can focus on unique smaller parcels of land – often more affordable and available.

The Galardi Group has also embraced a surge in ‘conversion’ or second generation, free-standing buildings with drive thru.  There are many cases of great real estate in conversion building opportunities.

Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez focuses on a simple, unique, and easy-to-serve menu

Think about the last time you visited a Dairy Queen or other QSR franchise. Chances are the menu boards were cluttered with options for burgers, chicken products, salads, and many other “adjacent” food items. If you could find the hot dogs, they were usually buried somewhere near the bottom of the menu. For the hot dog franchise opportunity Wienerschnitzel, the hot dog IS the main star and primary driver of the menu, touting nine different hot dogs, with or without the secret recipe chili, and are available in regular, all-beef or polish.

Tastee-Freez is another driver of quality and simplicity, with all dessert menu items derived from a single vanilla profile.  This means one soft-serve machine, less cost, and less kitchen space. A focused menu makes for a smaller, and more efficient kitchen footprint, also streamlining labor efficiencies.

Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez are simple to operate

Finally, one of the biggest advantages Wienerschnitzel and Tastee-Freez hold over competing brands like Dairy Queen – and is often a leading motive for restaurant investors, is its simplicity in execution.  Very few brands offer this kind of streamlined menu that is easy to execute with low food costs.

Want to learn more about our hot dog franchise opportunity?

With open territory, new market incentives, and a new generation of nostalgia-driven consumers, Wienerschnitzel is a worthy investment for the entrepreneur who wants to bring the best tasting hot dog and soft-serve to their community. With industry-leading support, a proven business model, and ten years of continual same-store sales increases, there is no better time to invest in a Wienerschnitzel/ Tastee-Freez franchise.