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Even a Pandemic Can’t Slow Down Expansion for Iconic Bob & Edith’s Diner

Sep 24, 2020

Bob & Edith’s Diner, an iconic Washington, D.C. eatery beloved by celebrities and locals alike, recently opened its 5th corporate location at 5050 Lee Highway in Arlington, despite COVID-19-related delays. The new location welcomed more customers than anticipated in its first week (both on- and off-premise), highlighting the concept’s popularity and cult-like following in D.C. and surrounding areas.

The new location has special significance to owner Greg Bolton. “My dad worked at this very location 65 years ago, before he opened the first Bob & Edith’s Diner,” he said. “I worked at this location when I was 17, and now my kids and grandkids will own the location where their grandfather once worked.”

Greg’s son Chris, who is involved in the business as the third generation of Boltons, added, “We are fortunate our customers love us and support us with busy restaurants. We can’t think of a better return on our profits than reinvesting in new Bob & Edith’s Diner locations. Especially in these times, where there are great conversion opportunities as we saw with our restaurant in Crystal City, the potential returns are excellent.”

The 50-year-old, family-owned and operated business traditionally thrived off dine-in sales, and had to make operational changes to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. The diner made a quick and crucial pivot to implement new technology, update packaging to better accommodate pickup and delivery, create a digital-friendly menu and utilize third-party delivery apps. Today, they are operating at 50 percent dine-in sales and 50 percent off-premise sales.

Bob & Edith’s Diner is partnered with Fransmart, the industry leading franchise development company behind the explosive growth of brands like Five Guys Burgers & Fries and QDOBA Mexican Grill, as their exclusive franchise development partner to grow the brand.

Fransmart CEO Dan Rowe believes the concept’s resiliency and continued growth signals strong opportunity for potential franchisees.

“The best way to tell if a restaurant concept is successful is to see if the insiders are reinvesting into more locations,” said Rowe. “Bob & Edith’s Diner continues to grow because customers love it, and these restaurants are busy to the point where the insiders see reinvesting any profits into more locations is giving the best returns on profits, and creating a stronger foundation as they expand nationally.”

The concept is actively looking for experienced multi-unit foodservice operators to develop additional franchises in major markets across the United States. To learn more about Bob & Edith’s Diner franchising opportunities, please visit https://fransmart.com/bob-ediths-diner/.

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