H&H Bagels wants to expand its heritage beyond the borders of New York
Instead of looking at specific geographic markets, H&H targets the best franchise candidates. In the midst of this research, the channel is not targeting a specific type of operator. Rushin says it could be a multi-unit operator looking to add a new brand to their portfolio or a new franchisee looking to start a new career.
Franchisees will receive support in site selection, store construction, opening launch, marketing and branding advice.
“We’re in a privileged position because we have a growing business with no franchises, so we’re not under pressure to sign deals and open units just for the fun of it,” says Rushin. “So we can sit down and really pick the franchisees who we think will not only be successful, but add value to the whole organization and the right people for the business.”
When Rushin joined H&H in 2014, he implemented a more national approach. In 2017, the brand launched its national wholesale business with retail suppliers across the country. During COVID, the company saw a 500% increase in shipments nationwide and a 400% increase in its global wholesale business. Additionally, with more and more consumers turning to off-premises stores, combined with the portability of bagels, H & H’s delivery mix has grown to around 60%.
“Fast forwarding through many ups and downs over the course of the company’s history, it is still an iconic New York brand with a legendary product,” said Rushin. “When I took over in 2014, he needed help. So for me, it was an opportunity to find this amazing, under-invested brand that we could straighten out and fix and improve its legacy. “
“The future is even better at 50 years of the first 50 years,” he continues. “My goal is just to bring our iconic brand and our legendary products across the country so people maybe don’t have to go all the way to New York City to get a good bagel anymore. “