In June, the cannabis-themed sandwich franchise opened two new restaurants, one in Washington and the other in Texas, bringing the brand to 50 units across 15 states.
Cheba Hut has crossed the milestone 50-unit mark. In June, the cannabis-themed sandwich franchise opened two new restaurants, one in Texas and one in Washington — its first in the state — bringing the franchise to 50 units across 15 states.
And the brand isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon. One of Cheba Hut’s new franchise owners in Washington is already set to open a second store in Seattle this fall, and Cheba Hut CEO Marc Torres says his team anticipates another four openings before the end of the year.
“We are in a fantastic position for widespread growth,” Torres said. “We have the infrastructure, operational support and brand awareness to get new franchise owners up and running faster than ever before. We never want to grow for growth’s sake alone, and right now, the demand is there, and we’re prepared to meet it.”
Cheba Hut’s recent growth isn’t limited to its development efforts. The brand continues to find increased sales across its franchise system and is currently boasting a whopping $2 million AUV across all stores, including those that have only been open for a few weeks, says Torres.
“In 2020 and 2021, our team did an incredible job rolling with an unpredictable landscape in the restaurant industry, and we kept sales up primarily through digital efforts. This year, as dine-in service picked up, we saw an incredible surge,” he said. “Each of our restaurants features a full bar, which has been a great way of ensuring that Cheba Hut is known not only as a great place to grab a sandwich but also as a community hangout spot and event venue. As a result, we’ve seen store-level sales continue to increase.”
Next year will mark Cheba Hut’s 25th anniversary, and the brand is already planning a blowout celebration. For the franchise’s 20th anniversary, it held the “Cheba Run,” inviting fans to visit each store and document their journey on video for the chance to win a Cheba Hut-themed VW bus and $500. For the 25th anniversary, Torres says his team is upping the ante.
“We can’t say exactly what the contest will look like just yet, but it’s going to be bigger and better in every way,” he said.
As the brand looks towards its 25th anniversary, Torres says Cheba Hut remains focused on growth, but the franchise won’t continue to grow forever.
“We currently have 28 franchise partners, and we are capping it at 40,” he said. “That’s important because we are adamant about maintaining intimate relationships with our franchise partners. We never want to get to the point where we refer to a partner by a number; I want to know them not just by name but by their golf handicap or where their kids are going to school.”
Until then, Cheba Hut will continue to grow, bringing its unique brand of cannabis-themed fun to new communities across the U.S.
“Every one of our stores is different,” Torres said. “We want each store to authentically represent its community and offer something unique. That’s true at 50 stores and will be true at 100. So as we continue to grow, we are looking for passionate franchise owners who want to leverage our operational expertise and resources to create something special and unique. That’s a rare opportunity in the franchise world, and we’re excited to partner with entrepreneurs who see the value in that opportunity.”
Cheba Hut has been escaping the established and getting “toasted” since 1998. Breaking the mold of mundane fast-casual concepts by becoming the first marijuana-themed sandwich “joint,” Cheba Hut is dedicated to providing customers with delicious and memorable sandwich and munchie options in a chill, eclectic environment where genuine people serve made-to-order food. Cheba Hut’s fun and authentic dining experience includes a full-service bar and highlights its menu because it’s not about getting high; it’s about epic food and legendary service! For more information, check us out on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.