The Latest Habit News

Discover The Habit’s Flexible Real Estate Footprint




The Habit franchise provides restaurant investors a variety of real estate formats, granting our owners the flexibility to tap into niche markets across the country and deliver a next-level culinary experience to our far-reaching fan base. The adaptable nature of our real estate model allows our acclaimed restaurant franchise to fit into various types of properties – whether landing on an existing site or constructing a restaurant from the ground-up to fit perfectly in your market, our franchise support team is there to provide guidance from the start.


Take a deeper dive into The Habit’s build-out options below:


Freestanding with Drive-Thru

Our freestanding with drive-thru format ranges from 2,500-3,000 square feet and fits well in suburban territories and shopping centers. With ample room comes the opportunity to make the most of The Habit’s multiple revenue channels, like our kiosk ordering system, curbside pick-up, 3rd party delivery and more.


Endcaps with Optional Drive-Thru

In terms of integrated real estate selection, The Habit’s endcap model fits well in strip malls and is particularly flexible. With a drive-thru option, endcaps can range between 2,400 and 2,800 square feet while allowing plenty of space for dine-in seating. Much like the Freestanding Drive-Thru model, The Habit’s Endcap formats deliver a seamless Guest experience while also allowing space for optimized front-of-house and back-of-house operations.



The Habit’s non-traditional models fit a variety of real estate venues, from college campuses and airports, to amusement parks, retail complexes and more. These high-traffic areas allow franchise owners to hit the ground running from opening day. Plus, adaptable licensing options allow restaurants to fit into existing real estate sites, typically under 1,200 square feet, often without the need for complete build-out construction from the ground-up.


If you’re looking for a fast-casual franchise with a flexible footprint, get in touch by filling out our inquiry form. Start your franchising journey with The Habit today!

The Habit Paves Way for Multi-Unit Franchise Success


With restaurant franchise ownership comes the opportunity for sophisticated investors to expand their portfolio. In fact, multi-unit ownership is steadily on the rise and according to FRANdata, 54% of all franchises in the U.S. are owned by multi-unit operators. The Habit’s multi-unit franchise opportunity allows our owners to diversify their revenue channels and scale their business by leveraging existing overhead. Below are key factors of our franchise model that allow The Habit’s multi-unit operators to unlock new levels of success:


Variety of Real Estate Models

Giving our owners a wide range of real estate models to choose from, The Habit’s flexible footprint means franchisees can leverage a variety of optimal sites for their restaurants. In-line end caps, end-cap drive-thrus and free-standing drive-thrus all fit well in suburban markets and our non-traditional venues offer unique options for colleges and universities, airports and amusement park complexes.


Area Development and Securement Support

After the development agreement is finalized, our team provides owners with suburban-centric market planning, site selection guidance, exterior and interior store designs, support through the construction process and access to a list of preferred vendors. Following the buildout process, our team will continue providing support in several aspects of training and equipment sourcing so you can optimize the performance potential of your future restaurants.


On-Going Franchise Assistance

Once franchisees have their restaurants up and running, The Habit’s hands-on guidance continues. From marketing and our in-house Restaurant Service Helpdesk technology aid to our brand-standard training and product innovation, The Habit franchise team has got our owners covered, allowing them to focus on diversifying their investment by adding more units. The Habit’s largest multi-unit franchisee, Stan Singh, began his franchise journey with 20 KFC restaurants. Singh has since added 12 Habit Burger Grill restaurants and two food trucks to his portfolio, a milestone he was able to reach because of the all-access guidance of our franchisee support team.


Singh recently stated, “The Habit team’s hands-on guidance and proven business model have allowed me to grow my portfolio beyond what I expected.”


If you’re looking for a multi-unit franchise opportunity that will take your investment to the next level, inquire about our franchise opportunity by filling out our inquiry form and start your franchising journey with The Habit!

Executing Strategic Expansion with Shannon Hennessy, President of The Habit Burger Grill

Shannon Hennessy


If you haven’t yet heard, our leadership team has recently grown with the addition of a new skilled member. Shannon Hennessy joins The Habit Burger Grill team to take on the new role of President, after nearly three years of delivering steadfast results-driven work as Global CFO of KFC. Since welcoming Shannon to the position, we’ve taken the time to chat with her about her career and what motivates her as a leader and trailblazer in the franchise and restaurant industries.


Learn more about Shannon’s journey that led her to The Habit in the exclusive Q&A below:


You have recently joined The Habit Burger Grill. What aspects of this role are you most looking forward to?


SH: I am very excited to join the brand during an aggressive growth phase, and work alongside our teams in marketing, development, franchising and finance. I fell in love with the Habit on my first bite of a charburger, sitting on a sunny patio in Arizona! I have since grown to understand and appreciate the operational system that delivers incredible consistency of operations and customer experience, which is particularly impressive given the complexity of our menu and food preparation. Furthermore, I’m eager to work alongside such a passionate team. As I’ve met the rest of The Habit team, I’ve seen and truly admire their hustle – for example, the pivot from dine-in to digital is phenomenal and showcases our speed and agility.


What shapes your leadership style and what motivates you in the workplace?


SH: I always say the two things that motivate me are people and problems. I love working in teams and having different perspectives provide insight when problem-solving. My eyes light up when encountering a new and complex problem. To me, execution is a complex and vital process and one of my biggest learnings from working with KFC on the global level. I am also incredibly committed to LGBTQ+ inclusion and advancing equity and belonging in the workplace. These passions of mine have shaped me into the leader I am today, and I aim to keep bringing people together to creatively solve problems and drive change.


How do you see your new role as president fitting into the company and driving strategy?


SH: I was a consultant for many years before joining YUM, and have a deep appreciation for strategy. The Habit has so many great things going for us that will fuel our growth – we’re positioned in an elevated “craft casual” segment, our die-hard food fans visit us frequently, and we have very strong capabilities in operations and technology. We also have some challenges to sort out to ensure we can scale our concept in a consistent and profitable way. I look forward to working with our teams to drive higher brand awareness and sales, clarify our expansion strategy, define the format of the future, and improve margins while preserving our high standards for quality and freshness.


I’m a big advocate of the Yum! Leadership model of smart, heart and courage. I am a heart-first leader through and through. I love working in this people-driven business as much as I love food, and I’m happy to partner with the winning team at The Habit!


Shannon Hennessy is as passionate about the craft as much as The Habit is, and her guidance through our growth initiative will prove invaluable to our fast casual restaurant franchise. If you want to get in on our growth plans and learn from experts like Shannon as a Habit franchisee, inquire about our franchise opportunity by filling out our inquiry form to start your multi-unit franchising journey with The Habit!

How The Habit Stands Out from the Rest in the Burger Category

Quality - First, Guest - Focused


Quality is our priority here at The Habit Burger Grill. From our flavorful and unique menu creations to our top-of-the-line franchisee support system, The Habit keeps a quality-first mindset for every aspect of our burger franchise. To remain as one of the top burger franchises in the nation, we instill excellence into avenues of our business model that help our franchise owners operate at outstanding levels. Here are a few ways we marry tech, operations and culinary expertise into a formula for franchise success:


Staying on the Leading Edge of Operational Tech

User-friendly tech is a necessary to streamline restaurant operations. This is especially true in recent years as the importance of digital hospitality and off-premise dining increased. To help restaurant operators keep digital platforms, ordering channels, kiosks and apps in tune, we’ve armed them with proprietary tech that can do it all.  Chief Information Officer for The Habit, Mike Repetti, has led our technological innovations and continues to find ways for The Habit to invest in its digital journey, like implementing advanced digital ordering platforms that send orders to the kitchen on the fly when a driver or guest arrives earlier than scheduled for pick up.


Culinary Innovation within the Quick Service Sector

When it comes to menu advancements and innovation, The Habit stays a cut above the rest with high-quality menu items and enticing LTOs. Thanks to our comprehensive support system and operator-first mindset, franchise owners have the ability to successfully launch new menu items with ease. Take our latest LTO as an example, the Basil Pesto Chicken Sandwich inspired by Executive Chef Adam Baird. It’s one example of the elevated culinary experience our guests love and have come to expect from The Habit.


Our recent accolades also prove how we stay on the leading edge of the restaurant industry. This past month, The Habit ranked #2 on the Contenders list of QSR Magazine’s QSR 50, a list of the top 50+ quick-service brands in the U.S. ranked by systemwide sales.


Learn more about our distinctive franchise opportunity on our website and fill our inquiry form to start your multi-unit franchising journey with The Habit!


Mid-Year Report: The Habit’s Growth is Heating Up


After rounding out the first half of 2022, The Habit Burger Grill continues down the path to notable franchise growth.

Now with over 330 restaurants in 14 U.S. states and 11 international locations, we’d like to reflect on achievements and milestones we’ve reached at the mid-point of the year.

In Q1 of 2022, our system sales grew 17 percent year-over-year, fueled by 13 percent unit growth and a 3 percent same-stores sales increase. Plus, over the past six months, we’ve been turning up the heat to open more locations with qualified investors and supporting franchisees in every step of running successful restaurants.

As of June of this year, 20 new Habit Burger Grill restaurants have opened globally, expanding our franchise development footprint in California, North Carolina, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, and Cambodia. Along with openings, The Habit franchise system has secured development agreements in various markets. A recently signed development agreement for 12 new locations in San Bernardino county with Aharon Aminpour is an exciting step towards more multi-unit growth in our home state.

“There are so many advantages to The Habit Burger Grill’s franchise model, the opportunity to help grow the brand’s footprint in Southern California felt like a no-brainer,” said Aminpour.

Rounding out the second quarter, we were ecstatic to have our franchise efforts recognized after being been named a Top Food Franchise and a Top Global Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, ranking #116 in the Top Global Franchises category and #6 in the “Best of: Hamburgers” ranking. In addition, earlier this year, The Habit Burger Grill was not only named as a “Best Buy” franchise, but a finalist in the ‘Full Speed Ahead’ category at the Franchise Times annual Zor Awards.

With our innovative menu, extensive training and franchisee support, and all-access digital customer experience, we are thrilled to continue introducing our award-winning and delicious chargrilled burger concept to new and expanding areas from coast-to-coast.

Don’t just take it from us – you can read all about our recent wins in this article from QSR Magazine and visit our website to start your franchise journey with The Habit!

Nurturing Diversity Within The Habit Burger Grill System

For Lee Mitchell, multi-unit franchisee of The Habit Burger Grill, the journey to business ownership started early in his career working as an assistant manager at Taco Bell, our sister brand also under the Yum! Brands umbrella. From a young age, Mitchell knew he was destined to be a business owner. So, while in his managerial position in the restaurant, he simultaneously set out to obtain a master’s degree in business. Through his persistence and dedicated efforts to explore entrepreneurial endeavors, the opportunity for Mitchell to buy a Taco Bell franchise presented itself.

After making the decision to become a franchisee, Mitchell did not look back and has since enhanced his investment portfolio with a signed area development agreement for five new restaurants in Coachella Valley.

Recently, Mitchell participated in a webinar for Global Franchise’s Multi-Unit Month regarding Diversity in Franchising, where he discussed his own journey, how brands can advocate for minorities in franchising, and Yum! Brands’ program to help people of color interested in franchising at the University of Louisville and Howard University.

Watch the full webinar linked here:

Lee Mitchell Global Franchise Webinar

At The Habit Burger Grill, we pride ourselves in lifting up diverse voices and perspectives, championing opportunities for minority franchise owners for the betterment of the system and for committed owners like Mitchell.

Learn more about The Habit Burger Grill’s franchise model and our strong support aspects on our website. Fill out our inquiry form if our established brand sounds like the right venture for you!

A 1-on-1 Conversation with The Habit CEO Russ Bendel

One of the driving forces behind The Habit’s proven model, franchise growth strategy and leading sales performance is CEO Russ Bendel. Bendel first joined The Habit Burger Grill in 2008 and has since helped grow the brand from 16 restaurants to more than 300 locations, while also integrating major brand transformations like our modernized technology platforms and operational tools.

Learn more about Bendel’s triumphant journey with The Habit, his restaurant industry know-how and how he continues to keep the brand’s growth at the forefront in this exclusive Q&A below:

What is one thing that makes you most proud of your time at The Habit?

RB: What’s made me most proud is the opportunities and growth that we’ve created for our team. People who have joined us mid-stage or early in their restaurant industry journeys have the opportunity to grow through playing many different roles. Oftentimes, they take with them skills that they maybe didn’t have before they joined us. The Habit has always been about personal and professional growth, doing good work, and being able to allow our team members to navigate their careers. I’m also incredibly proud to be a part of a team that has seen pronounced success through our development efforts with an increased number of stores and surpassing $700 million in sales.

What differentiates The Habit from other franchise concepts?

RB: The Habit is a concept that falls under the burger category, which is domestically the largest limited-service category of restaurants and has historically been dominated by QSR brands. But, the “better burger” category is much smaller and faster-growing. Consumers today are looking for cooked-to-order meals made with fresh ingredients, which are practices The Habit was built on. It helps that the breadth of our menu is major, with 60% of our offerings being burgers and 40% being other unique menu items. All of these aspects really fit into today’s consumer as they look for inclusive dining options.

Where do you look for inspiration or motivation, and how do you keep your team motivated?

RB: You have to work for an organization and people who share a common passion or belief. Something that resonates with restaurant sector consumers and people is a compelling consumer proposition – working with good people who want to grow and provide opportunities for other individuals. The restaurant industry allows people to enter with various degrees of experience, and can help them grow both personally and professionally. If you are hard-working, passionate and have good sense, growing with a concept like The Habit is encouraged and welcomed.

Bendel’s passion for the hospitality business and longstanding history with our brand has helped create an even more attractive franchise opportunity for prospective investors. Learn more about The Habit’s franchise model on our website and fill out our inquiry form if our powerfully-led brand sounds like the right venture for you!

Q&A with The Habit’s Chief Information Officer Mike Repetti

More than ten years ago, Mike Repetti started his journey with The Habit as the first person in the IT department at store #37. Today, information technology is the second largest department at The Habit Burger Grill, allowing us to focus on enhancing our mobile ordering app which surpassed 1.81 downloads in March of 2022.

Repetti’s drive for innovating The Habit’s tech is evident in the way he speaks about his goals to improve both guest-facing and operator experiences. Below, hear from him on multiple aspects of The Habit’s tech differentiators and how they evolved over his ten years with the brand:

  1. What are the main technological aspects that differentiate The Habit Burger Grill from other fast-casual burger concepts?

    MR: The Habit is a very operator-centric company, and we really put our money where our mouth is when using technology as a strategic advantage. The brand in general is very operations-focused and it helps that my team and I have experience in that aspect. We acquire technology and we optimize it for our goals, like automating the system so our people can spend that time focusing on guests, rather than tech issues.

  2. How would you say The Habit mobile app has enhanced owner operations?

    MR: When we started on our digital journey, we made a very conscious decision to remain customer service oriented in-store. We didn’t want to just have a utilitarian ordering app. So, we invented the concept of digital hospitality, to portray the smiling welcoming cashier through our app too. We added a lot of features in the app that are popular with the guests – favoriting items, accessing previous orders, the ability to pay in 2-3 steps—we even send texts to guests to let the know when the order is ready or when we receive the order. It enhances the ordering experience.

  3. How do you see The Habit’s technology advancing or changing in 2022 to keep up with online order demands amid the pandemic?

    MR: We were in better shape than most concepts when the pandemic hit because we made the decision early-on to invest in our digital journey and tech stack. Soon after the lock downs began, we quickly rolled out pop-up drive thrus within the first 10 days and family meal bundles within 30 days. We pivot quickly and we’re known for it. From an operator standpoint, one of the things we do best is multi-channel innovation. Restaurant operators need a way to turn off digital orders or limit hours if there’s a staffing issue, supply chain issue, plumbing issue, etc. In order to manage all those variables, we built a platform that does all of that, while others may have to log in to 6-7 different systems to make those changes.

Learn more about The Habit’s franchise model on our website and fill out our inquiry form if our technologically innovative brand sounds like the right investment opportunity for you!

The Habit Burger Wins Franchise Times Zor Award as Top Brand to Buy

Stan Singh came to the United States from India when he was 18 years old, in 1992, starting as a cook for KFC. “My dream was to have one KFC in the future,” he said, and now he has 20. Based in Riverside in Southern California, he bought five The Habit Burger Grill restaurants in June 2021 with rights to develop eight more.

Read More about The Habit Burger Wins Franchise Times Zor Award as Top Brand to Buy

Why Franchisees Choose to Grow with The Habit Burger Grill

The Habit Burger Grill continues to expand our franchise footprint, growing into untapped regions and existing markets by teaming up with seasoned restaurant and business professionals.

You may be thinking: why are individuals choosing The Habit as their franchise partner? Let’s take a look at the reasons why franchisees are staking their claim on The Habit Burger Grill territories available.

  1. The Habit’s Extensive & Innovative Menu

    The Habit takes pride in sourcing fresh high-quality ingredients for our award-winning Charburger to our line-caught sushi-grade ahi tuna. Our chargrill sears in the flavor and seasonal creations offer timely, unique options for our guests. We’ve mastered more than just burgers, and as a chef-driven brand, we’re at the forefront of menu innovation with coastal inspired creations that assist in diversifying our entrée mix.

  1. Franchisee Support & Training

    When franchisees sign on to grow with The Habit, we assist them every step of the way so they can feel confident in running great restaurants. We administer comprehensive market development support from day one including operational training guides, instruction of IT systems and everything in between. We don’t leave our franchisees hanging – our ongoing support covers every aspect of the business with industry leading expertise and resources from our renowned parent company, Yum! Brands, Inc.

Adam Quinn, a multi-unit franchisee who is expanding The Habit into New England territories, has boasted about the accessibility to our franchise support system: “The support that I have received from the brand is incredible. From operations, construction, and the development staffs – each have been first class and I’m so proud to be partnering with The Habit Burger Grill for years to come.”

  1. All-Access Digital Customer Experience

    When it comes to incorporating technology into our franchise ownership experience, The Habit is truly ahead of the curve. The Habit Burger Grill franchise opportunity brings forth the potential for multiple revenue streams with in-store, take-out, curbside pick-up and drive thru orders, a high rated mobile app, website and telephone ordering, in-store kiosks, and integrated third-party delivery. Our technology driven operations not only drive efficiency for our customers, employees, and franchisees, but they set us apart from other burger concepts in the quick service restaurant space.

Learn more about The Habit’s franchise model on our website and fill out our inquiry form if our sought-after investment opportunity sounds right for you!

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