Twisted Root's Creative Path to Better-Burger Dominance
Twisted is an apt description for the Texas-based burger brand started in 2006. Offering build-your-own and specialty versions of the classic limited-service dish, Twisted Root Burger Company emphasizes the customer experience in a market chock-full of other burger concepts.
“Everyone will say ’quality, quality, quality,’ and I don’t want to discount that. I’ll say that our quality is the best, and I’ll say that we do have the best burger in town, and a lot of our local magazines will say that,” cofounder Jason Boso says. “But it’s actually our creativity and unique customer experience, from waiting in line to ordering to the decor to the overall entire customer experience. [Even] going to the bathroom, you might discover something unique or fun.”
With 15 company-owned locations and five franchised, Twisted Root will continue to grow primarily through corporate openings, Boso says.
“I haven’t been proactively searching for franchisees; the restaurants make enough money that I’ll just grow them as much as I can corporately,” he says. “But if the right franchisee comes along who’s got the right infrastructure and passion, I’ll be happy to sign them up.”
While a lot of fast-casual brands have found success in urban markets, Boso says Twisted Root has had broad appeal across its locations in Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana.
“I’ve never really drilled down to a specific demographic that is the go-to number, so I’ve gone suburban. I’ve gone urban. I’ve gone smaller unit. I’ve gone bigger unit. I’ve gone more bar-happy to no bar in the restaurant and really tried to dial into what is the perfect-size space, location, and demographic,” he says. “We’ve narrowed down our most successful place to about a 4,000-square-foot location with a nice, big, central bar and close to a highway, and I would say middle income to a little bit above middle income.”
Boso says challenges exist as Twisted Root looks to grow in the future, particularly when it comes to funding and employee retention. But the brand has found creative ways to address those potential problems.
“We have an award in our office called the Chuck Norris award, the person who’s the most kick-ass. And we’re developing some hiring interviews and programs,” he says. “The other challenge is money. I have been raising money from individual, small investors for 10 years, and I need Daddy Warbucks to come help. So if Daddy Warbucks is out there, give me a call.”