How a former athlete turned entrepreneur is expanding the footprint of his leading Louisiana-inspired franchise eatery, Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar
When Brandon Landry, Founder of Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, stepped off the court in 2001, he realized he couldn’t live without key gameday elements that made his experience as a walk-on athlete for Louisiana State University (LSU) unforgettable.
From the cities he was able to see, to the time-intensive travel schedule – it gave him the opportunity to eat and drink at some of the best eateries across the country, making him realize there weren’t a whole lot of restaurant or sports bar options back home in Baton Rouge.
The idea for Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar started to take shape 35,000 feet up in the air as Landry and his fellow teammate, Jack Warner, sketched out their vision for a floor plan on the back of a napkin while the team flew home from a game.
As soon as they said goodbye to the game and earning their degrees, they knew they were just getting started.
Despite having little business experience and even less financial backing the two incorporated the traits they learned on the basketball court – hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence – into their vision of launching the Walk-On’s restaurant concept that would grow into a thriving franchise system.
In 2003, the business idea turned into a reality, with the first Walk-On’s location opening in the shadows of LSU’s Tiger stadium.
The business took off quickly, allowing the brand to grow through corporate locations and then proceeded to launch its official franchise opportunity which was in 2014. In 2015, NFL All-Pro Quarterback Drew Brees caught wind and joined the Walk-On’s team as co-owner and partner.
The popular eatery boasts 15 years of operational expertise and is expanding beyond the southeast and into target markets throughout the United States. With an impressive network of 25 restaurant franchises, the expanding southern favorite has 17 openings slated for early 2019.
Continuing to strategically grow, with 100 locations currently in development, the brand plans to open an additional 20 locations by the end of 2019.
“We’ve experienced monumental growth the past few years and plan to continue this momentum well into 2019,” said Walk-On’s President & COO, Scott Taylor. “Our team is aiming to identify qualified, active and engaged individuals who are familiar with restaurant business operations, are involved with their community, and are hungry to dive into the world of franchising. We additionally seek true team players who have a passion for delivering great food and a game day experience.”
As a leading full-service family sports bar, Walk-On’s provides gourmet takes on game day favorites. Each dish is made from scratch using fresh ingredients to bring its savory and sumptuous cuisine to life.
Its diverse menu offerings range from unique twists on game day staples to upscale takes on Louisiana mainstays, pleasing all palates. Its game day atmosphere paired with true southern hospitality makes it a perfect dining destination for everyone.
Since entering the world of franchising, Walk-On’s has built a culture of constant learning, something that is vital to its growth. When a new franchisee joins, their store operators take part in its very own Walk-On’s University Program at its headquarters in Baton Rouge.
The program store operators with an understanding of managing a business and world-class kitchen, but also allows them to acquire deep appreciation of Louisiana culture and what inspires the menu. The Walk-On’s University Program provides an education on what comradery and southern hospitality are truly all about; a spirit injected into each Walk-On’s storefront.
Today, the average unit volume of each location is $5.4 million, and nearly 70 percent of Walk-On’s sales are from food orders rather than drink orders, a rarity for a bar-centric restaurant.
Locations are strategically placed in secondary and tertiary markets. Devoid of downward compression from pricier fine dining concepts, Walk-On’s is able to position itself at the upper tier of the market while offering affordable dining experiences to guests.
About Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar
Based in Baton Rouge, La., Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar was founded in 2003 by Brandon Landry, a former walk-on basketball player at Louisiana State University. Leaning on the true spirit of a walk-on and building a winning culture, the brand is rapidly expanding across the United States with 25 locations currently open and operating and over 100 in development.
Its Louisiana-inspired menu combines food and drinks made from scratch, daily. Walk-On’s All-American team serves up a game day experience in a fun, welcoming family-friendly atmosphere that ensures every guest is a winner. For more information, visit, www.walkons.com. To inquire about franchise opportunities please visit, www.walkons.com/franchising or contact Kelly Parker, Franchise Sales & Real Estate Manager, at 225-330-4533.
AT A GLANCE
Name of franchise: Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar
Number of franchised outlets: 25 across North America
Location of units: U.S.A. (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas)
Investment range: $1,190,500 to $2,383,000
Minimum required capital: $400,000 liquid capital and $1.3M net worth
Contact: Visit www.walkons.com/franchising or contact Kelly Parker, Director of Franchise Sales & Real Estate, at 225-330-4533.