Bryn and Dane's Conquers QSR Convention
The compelling story behind the concept that’s capturing multiple awards around Philadelphia such as “Best Healthy Lunch” and “Best Healthy Breakfast On-the-Go” can be found with nearly every mention of Bryn and Dane’s online. One might also stumble across a picture of founder Bryn Davis, who was featured in an article by Men’s Health for the incredible transformation he’s made; Bryn dropped 70 pounds by taking his health seriously, starting with his food.
"Self-order handles the bulk of the ordering at Bryn + Dane's in Plymouth Meeting, PA."
One of the more interesting points of the story is that only a handful of years ago, Bryn Davis was sharing a bedroom with his 16-years-younger kid brother – the other half of the company moniker, Dane – keeping him up at night while planning the vision inspired by his healthy lifestyle. Another one: raising the initial capital of $12,000 to open his first location – a small stand selling smoothies and popcorn – was accomplished by working on his grandfather’s farm.
"Leveraging their huge following on social media, over 1,000 people checked in for the grand opening on June 12th, 2015."
At that time, one might have called Bryn Davis an underdog in the an industry where restaurants are a high-risk investment, especially with the seemingly insurmountable plan to put a Bryn and Dane’s in every town in America by serving “healthy fast food.”
And for the climax? Bryn Davis is planning to open his fourth and fifth Bryn and Dane’s locations by the end of the year after recently opening his new flagship location and company headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, a suburb of Philadelphia.
It looks like the underdog just knocked one out of Citizen’s Bank Park.
"Clean lines and natural tones set the stage for Bryn + Dane's new flagship location."
Bryn and Dane’s new Plymouth Meeting location is spacious and boasts Scandanavian simplicity with soaring ceilings, bare wood and clean white surfaces accented by the natural shapes and angles of the carefully selected materials. A far departure from store number one in Horsham which was furnished mainly with repurposed materials and donations (including original Jack Daniel’s whiskey casks turned into high-top seating), Plymouth Meeting appeals to a larger demographic with its pleasantly austere and sophisticated decorum.
In another departure from Horsham, Bryn and Dane’s opted for a technological solution to streamline throughput for the anticipated large turnout. With over 27,000 followers on Facebook, Bryn and Dane’s has leveraged social media to the max to spearhead their push into local consciousness, leading to over 1,000 check-ins at the new location’s grand opening on June 12th. To help streamline the order and payment process, Bryn and Dane’s opted for self-order solutions instead of multiple Point of Sale systems, though one lone machine still caters to the less tech-friendly.
"Bryn + Dane's plans to expand to five locations in 2015."
Self-order is trending high on the “must have” list for concepts who want to appeal to tech-savvy Millennials and their vast purchasing power, as are locally sourced and organic ingredients, another cornerstone of Bryn and Dane’s philosophy. Even the big names in fast food – the names Bryn and Dane’s have set their sights on dethroning – are creating healthier menus and delving into proprietary self-order solutions to keep pace with the upstarts who have seen consistent growth in the fast casual space by staying hip to what’s trending in food and beverage.
The bank of three self-order kiosks are artfully framed on bare wood shelves to neatly handle 98% of the orders for the store, with the lone Point of Sale handling the other 2%. The kiosks are known for upselling, and check averages at the kiosk are more than 20% larger than those through the Point of Sale. However, this feature wasn’t what ultimately lead founder Bryn to the decision to opt for self-order.
When asked how his concept is going to compete against the McJuggernauts in an interview with Philly.com, Bryn and investor Michael Golden explained their position.
“As an investor you like to see really big markets. And you don’t find many industries as big as fast food,” says Golden. “I see the KFCs and McDonalds all being replaced by healthy, more socially responsible type fast food solutions. Kids, that’s what they want.”
But how to maintain the consistency that large QSRs pride themselves on to deliver consistent sales across different locations?
"Farm-to-table, self-order and social media have lead to numerous local awards for Bryn + Dane's."
“Our menu can change in real time. That’s what’s neat about it,” Bryn says. “[This] is a marketplace where we can assemble the freshest local ingredients. Our whole business will be as an ingredient sourcer. We gather it on a digital screen. We don’t have to print menus. We are known for our philosophy, not defined by burgers or burritos.”
“The touch screens will develop quite a bit over the next year,” Davis continues. “If you’re not eating gluten, for example, there will be a button for you and then our menu morphs to you. I want to be one of the first menu concepts where you don’t have to come in and pick from our menu … you tell us what you want and we’ll put the ingredients in front of you to make food that’s conducive to your (tastes).”
Everything about Bryn and Dane’s is a departure from the typical QSR approach, and the experts agree that it works. Fresh, local and organic have been trending for the past few years with no end in site to consumers’ desire to know where their food comes from. With the addition of self-order, Bryn and Dane’s has placed itself in a category with some of the smartest concepts in the niche who have more than successfully blended technology and food-source transparency to deliver the “customization and personalization” with better quality that the alphabet generations prefer.
Bryn Davis’ entrepreneurial intelligence shines, as the Horsham location now does “a couple of million a year” in sales with only $150,000 invested. With that kind of return, it would be a safe bet on seeing a Bryn and Dane’s in your suburb sometime soon.