Teddy's expanding to Washington via first franchisee


POSTED: Thursday, February 05, 2009

Teddy's Bigger Burgers will soon be rolling out its menu of flame-broiled burgers and fries in Washington.

The Oahu restaurant chain has signed its first franchise agreement and will open next month in Woodinville, Wash., as part of a new eight-store shopping center.

Franchisee Wes Case and wife Diana fell in love with Teddy's burgers about four years ago while on a vacation here.

A year later, Wes was laid off from his corporate housing job of 26 years. When he saw that Teddy's was offering franchise opportunities, he met with Rich Stula, who co-owns the chain with Ted Tsakiris.

“;Everything felt right,”; Wes said. “;Now you think of the economy, the McDonald's and the Carl's Jr.'s that are posting gains. People aren't doing the sit-down meals much anymore.”;

Whether the isle success of Teddy's - which opened its first location April 1998 and now has restaurants in Waikiki, Kailua and Hawaii Kai -can be translated to the mainland remains to be seen, he said. He is anticipating $1 million in sales for the year, less than the Oahu Teddy's locations each take in.

The couple is finishing up two months of training in Hawaii and soon will start hiring about 25 people for the 2,000-square-foot location, Wes said.

He said he is looking to bring a little more of Hawaii to his location on top of the chain's traditional '50s diner look.

Decor will include surfboards and a thatched seating area and a saltwater fish tank, and employees will be encouraged to throw a shaka or greet customers with an “;Aloha.”;

Wes said he hopes to open a second Teddy's location in two years.