First restaurant: Snider Plaza in 1951, Hillcrest and Lovers
Total restaurants: Seven; four company-owned and three franchisees (plus one coming soon in Lubbock)
Company philosophy: Burger House likes to “attach ourselves to a neighborhood and really become immersed in that neighborhood,” partner Chris Canellos says. “It really plays well for longevity.” The restaurant spends ample energy connecting to neighborhood schools and donating to school causes — “$60,000 to $75,000 a year,” Canellos figures. “We really don’t say no to a lot of people. Sometimes you have to because it’s a business, but we go overboard to build loyalty with schools.” This also helps because “the parents generally eat where the kids want to go,” he says.
Expansion plans: Burger House is in expansion mode, riding the wave of burger popularity. “The two hottest segments in the market are tacos and burgers,” Canellos says. “Four years ago, it was wings and coffee. It’s just an evolution. Four years from now it might be something else.” Franchisees are a recent addition to the company, and Canellos guesses Burger House will open a couple more franchises outside of Dallas over the next two years, plus “maybe one or two more that we own and operate inside Dallas.” He is finding ample opportunities to move in where other restaurants have failed. “People have found out that the restaurant business is a carnage business,” Canellos says. Burger House will scope out locations “close to a business corridor but nestled in a neighborhood to pull business lunch, but also pull the soccer mom, and at nighttime it’s strictly a family deal,” he says. “It’s kind of a utopian location. There’s not a lot of them out there.”
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