Most consumers have no trouble finding a local pizza shop, local fast casual restaurant, or higher end establishment. But finding all of those in one location can be a bit trickier. Rascal House aims to mesh high end ingredients with casual fare like pizza and burgers and a laid back environment. You can read more about the brand and its story in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Runs a chain of fast casual restaurants.
President Niko Frangos told Small Business Trends, “Rascal House is a high-end fast food restaurant that serves pizza, burgers, fries, subs, salads, wings and tasty munchies all under one roof with a family atmosphere. We are not a typical pizza shop nor a typical fast-casual restaurant.”
Using high end ingredients in a fast casual atmosphere.
Frangos says, “Simply, very few businesses do what we do. First, very few places do pizza by the slice that is always served fresh. Second, we’ve built our business since day one around high end fast food that can also be easily delivered while maintaining the food’s integrity. We’ve built our reputation around a diverse menu, high quality yet affordable food that also travels well.”
How the Business Got Started
From a couple with complementary skills.
Frangos explains, “Rascal House began in 1980 founded by Mike and Fouly Frangos. Fouly always focused on making sure the recipes were exceptional high-end, the presentation was always extraordinary. Mike loved serving people and providing remarkable service. Combining Mike’s love for the integrity of the food, others and Fouly’s love for cooking made the perfect recipe to create Rascal House.”
Allowing others to become store owners.
Frangos says, “The energy and passion that an independent store owner brings to their operation is contagious. Taking a chance and expanding the opportunity to our staff members allowed the brand to begin growing. Seeing our franchise partners’ success and them laying the foundation for others to also participate in our brand is our biggest win so far.”
Moving its existing corporate location to a brand new location.
Frangos says, “Although our location was in an old building that we owned and was in need of a refresh, we could have survived without moving. The old corporate location was well known. We were on a desirable corner and we had a long history in that spot. When a real-estate opportunity opened up, we decided that it would allow us to totally build and create a model location for our franchise expansion. We made the tough decision to move the entire business. It was time sensitive. We were facing a lot of unknowns with a build out in a new location etc. Many things did and could have gone very bad to the point that it would have truly impacted our business and our customer base. Fortunately, everyone in our leadership team rallied around getting things done with as little impact as possible. With a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, we were able to pull it off.”
Put growth systems into place.
Frangos explains, “From day one I would have begun developing a bench of people that could help the brand grow. Also, I’d focus all of my attention on putting systems in place for brand duplication. We spend a lot of time on developing systems to run a profitable and strong business but putting systems and controls in place for duplication didn’t come until many years later.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Adding new stores and team members.
Frangos adds, “It would go towards new store development and developing our team.”
How They Got the Name
From early team members.
Frangos explains, “Before we opened up as a Rascal House, we had bought what was an old Dairy Queen from the previous owners. Part of the deal was that we had to continue running it as a Dairy Queen for a few months. This store was across the street from a college campus in the heart of downtown and the majority of the staff was made up of college kids. The whole time that it was being operated as a Dairy Queen, Mike was trying to figure out what to call it and one day it dawned on him. He would refer to all the kids working at the restaurant as Rascals and thought that the name Rascal House would be a name that would always welcome those Rascals that he employed and were in his restaurant every day. Today we still welcome all those Rascals young and old and our restaurants will always be their home away from home for a comfortable meal and service with a smile.”
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
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Images: Rascal House, Facebook
I’d go just because I could get fresh pizza by the slice. I’ll check it out next time I’m in Cleveland but also hoping to see continued expansion to cities I get to more often.