Beaver County Times & Allegheny Times 09/22/04
Jerry's begins offering franchises
by Kimberly K. Barlow, Times Staff
BRIDGEWATER - Travelers up and down the East Coast will soon be seeing shiny new Jerry's Curb Service restaurants springing up if company President David Guido has his way.
The Bridgewater-based carhop restaurant, famed for its burgers and hand-cut fries and fabled to have been the birthplace of the steak salad, has begun franchising.
The move has been on the company's plate since a shiny new stainless steel modular structure with retro-style neon accents landed late last year at the flagship location along Riverside Drive.
The 57-year-old restaurant, founded by Jerry Reed, is going the way of its sister company, Bruster's, founded by Jerry Reed's son, Bruce. The younger Reed began franchising his ice cream parlors in 1993. Today there are 192 Bruster's in 15 states.
In February, Jerry's officials started showing off their carhop concept to potential franchisees, landing two commitments to date.
Robinson Township natives Henry and Mary Stevens plan to open a Jerry's on the site of their Bruster's ice cream franchise in Glen Burnie, Md.
And Cranberry Township residents Pete and Karen Shaver are set to open another franchise in Greenville, S.C.
Although the Jerry's and Bruster's concepts work well side-by-side, Guido said both are geared to stand on their own. Situating them together, as in Bridgewater, probably will be the exception rather than the rule, he said.
Jerry's plans to focus on getting between four and eight franchise commitments this year, with goals of eight next year and eight to 12 in its third year of franchising. "It's important to have managed growth so you don't get overcommitted," Guido said.
If you think burgers are in your blood and want a franchise of your own, you'll need to put up between $400,000 and $450,000 in building and equipment costs, plus real estate and development expenses.
Guido estimated the total cost of opening a Jerry's at between $800,000 and $1.2 million.