Company Of
The Month

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers was co-founded in 2002 by brothers Bill and Randy Simon, and their friend and business partner, Scott Redler. The three men named the restaurant after Bill and Randy’s father, Freddy Simon, a World War II veteran. Today, Freddy’s restaurants from coast-to-coast serve a menu reminiscent of the all-American meals Freddy prepared for his family. From steakburgers to sundaes, Freddy’s makes food fresh after you ask for it because that’s the kind of quality you deserve.

Tell us a little about the background. How did the company get its start?

Freddy Simon, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, and his two sons Bill and Randy, along with myself, co-founded the restaurant in Wichita, KS during 2002. Freddy is the namesake whose tradition of service and values are the inspiration for the restaurant concept. We wanted to open a burger joint and initially planned for only the single location, but it grew in popularity and we first franchised in 2004. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is a fast-casual restaurant that brings to life the America of the late 1940s and early 1950s, a post war era of optimism, pride and values focusing on unity and quality family time. All menu items are cooked-to-order and served within just a few minutes. Members of the management team are constantly circulating the dining room to check on guests and ensure that the restaurant is clean and inviting.

Scott Redler – Co-Founder & COO

We see that Freddy’s had grown quite quickly – even though it was founded just 15 years ago, you now operate from coast-to-coast. What do you think has made Freddy’s so successful so quickly? How does Freddy’s differentiate in a crowded restaurant marketplace?

We adopted the philosophy of treating employees and vendors as family, and treating customers as "guests.” We believe that treating one another with respect and offering extraordinary service has helped grow the Freddy's concept. Many of our guests mention that they appreciate the culture of hospitality in our restaurants. You can always expect prompt service with a friendly smile. Our focus on service and cleanliness, combined with cooked-to-order menu items, creates a comfortable dining experience that families value and enjoy.

Scott Redler – Co-Founder & COO

We see that Freddy’s is very active on social media. Can you talk about using social media as a marketing channel, especially from the lens of a middle market company?

The Social Media and Digital Hospitality teams engage our online world seven days a week. All feedback we receive is provided with a timely response, and we strive to interact with our guests across many different platforms. To our social pages, we post a mixture of news and community events with food photos and videos in order to exchange information with our guests.

Scott Redler – Co-Founder & COO

How does Freddy’s approach innovation?

We’ve quickly adopted new technology to drive innovation in the restaurant and hospitality realm. Through DOMO, we use data intelligence to make informed decisions regarding development of new restaurant locations and menu items. The Freddy’s IT team developed an App with DOMO that was featured in a keynote session in front of thousands of analysts at DOMO’s annual conference this year.

Scott Redler – Co-Founder & COO

Expansion can be a constant challenge for Middle Market companies, especially those like Freddy’s which are consumer-facing. Can you talk a bit about how Freddy’s selects its new markets for expansion? What makes a new city or location attractive?

While we operate 20 locations through our home office, much of Freddy’s growth is driven by franchisees. Franchise territory assignments determine the direction for new markets. Even while our franchisees establish the growth plan inside their territory, our office applies a consistent review process to each prospective location submitted for analysis and presentation at monthly real estate committee meetings. An attractive site is near family-friendly venues and regional points of interest with strong traffic patterns and growth on the horizon. We look for areas close to schools and around neighborhoods where we can get involved in the community.

Randy Simon – Co-Founder & CFO

What would you say are some unique advantages and challenges of working for a middle market company?

Operating in the space between the biggest brands of the world and single unit operators, Freddy’s is uniquely positioned to listen and adapt. Franchisees serve on various committees within our home office where they offer feedback and direction. Freddy’s digital training platform, Freducation, provides easy access to videos and interactive online offerings that facilitate frequent communication with team members across the country.

Randy Simon – Co-Founder & CFO

What’s next for Freddy’s? What are you most excited about?

We have more than 20 locations across the country that are currently under construction and more in earlier stages of development. Even with more than 250 locations open today, our team still buzzes with excitement for each opening. Freddy’s has an exceptional group of franchisees who continue to invest their talent and treasure in this concept. We plan to continue supporting them with innovative site selection tools, savings in construction costs, engaging training material, creative advertising and relevant guest engagement platforms.

Randy Simon – Co-Founder & CFO