Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 61

GROWLER USA

is now considered quality craft beer in America has risen
exponentially in the last five years."
But Growler keeps up. "Even when the industry itself
is growing at such a rapid pace and shifting, we still have
the best of the best," he says. "I don't see that changing at
all as we move forward."

The PerfecT Blend
Growler franchises are wise investments for a variety of
reasons. "They're affordable," Curnutt says, noting that
the company's locations typically span 2,500 to 3,000
square feet.
They also allow franchisees to fulfill a longtime
dream. "Almost all of the people who have come on
board have dreamed about having a pub," he says, adding that Growler franchisees do not need previous hospitality experience.
"We can help you out if you don't have the background," he says. "But we do require you hire a general
manager and kitchen manager who do."
Growler also provides franchisees with the necessary
training and support, as well as the ability to make changes. "Usually, when you a buy a franchise, it's very cookie
cutter," Curnutt explains. "People say, 'Here it is in a box,
don't deviate and good luck.'
"We look at it through a different lens," he says, adding
that this applies to each location's beer list. "No two locations that are more than 100 miles apart are going to have
access to the same selection of beers.
"We give them the latitude to match that up with
their marketplace," he says, noting that the company offers similar leeway with its food menu. "[We] let
them have a little creative flair locally to add to that
food offering."
Franchisees also can customize their Growler locations to local tastes. "We get it to the 70 percent mark of
all the finishes you'd expect to see in a Growler USA," he
says. "But they're able to lay over that with their choice of
art work.
"It may be a franchise, but it's locally owned and operated by people who live down the block from you," he
continues. "We like to think it's the perfect blend between the mom-and-pop location and the franchise locations. That's resonating very well with our owners."

you've learned a lot," he says. "Once you get 30, hopefully
you've learned a whole lot more."
Growler USA's concept, he adds, resonates well with
top-tier markets, which he hopes will allow it to grow to
150 pubs. But even as the company tweaks its formula, it
will stay true to its roots and model.

WE
KNEW
"WE KNEW
WE WANTED
A CONCEPT THAT WOULD
PLAY ALL OVER THE U.S."

- RON CURNUTT

"We've been through a great many adjustments to get
here," he says. "From here on out, I don't see a whole lot
of doing anything but just getting better. If you're not
trying to get better, you're just getting worse."

GeTTinG BeTTer
Curnutt predicts that Growler USA will keep growing
and improving. "When you get 15 stores under your belt,
WINTER 2017

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