Burlington Iowa has been a good performing restaurant for us and has been since day one. We exceeded expectations on projected sales by 15%. Those sales have continued over the first two years of operation. Another surprise for us has been the staff and hiring. I expected a harder market for retention of team members but that hasn't been the case. Our turnover has been very low in this market and been very easy to find good help.
Burlington Buffalo Wild Wings
Happy Joes relocated from our long-time location on Division St. to our present location on Lawrence Dr. in November of2010. Our initial sales increase in the first few months after moving was significant. but expected, due to what the restaurant industry refers to as the honeymoon period of sales.What has been encouraging, is that following the initial burst of sales right after opening, the drop off was still much improved over the sales at our previous location. The only aspect of our business that has not seen an increase since relocating is our delivery business. This reinforces the thought that much of our sales increases are driven by our improved location.
Happy Joe's Pizza
Burlington is one of our success stories from a new store opening perspective. We had far and away the best opening month in company history at that location, despite the fact that it opened in what is considered a down time of the year in the optical industry. Sales have yet to significantly taper off, with the store's equalized sales volume maintaining 10%-20% above our first year expectations. Additionally, our point of sale software indicates that we are seeing 33% of new customers reporting they came in because of a referral from a patient we have already worked with. Again, this is nearly 10% above average store performance. We believe that the store's location in the new part of town is playing a significant, if not primary, role in our success.We originally entered the Burlington market because it presented a natural midway point between our Quincy and Moline retail locations. Our initial goal was to enhance our presence in the western Illinois market, and we felt that Burlington's demographics would best accomplish this goal. We are now six months removed from opening our store in Burlington, and because of Burlington's exceptional retail sales performance we have totally altered our retail growth scheme to focus on Iowa.Our success in Burlington has led us to put off our planned St. Louis market entry, and retool our expansion efforts into Iowa. Because of the performance of Burlington, we have executed another two leases for new Iowa locations, and are in the process of negotiating an additional three more.