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Press Waffle

press waffleWaffle loving brothers Caleb and Bryan Lewis seek a partner for Press Waffle, their waffle-themed restaurant concept, in Shark Tank episode 1014. Bryan discovered Belgian waffles while traveling with his then fiancé (now wife) in the summer of 2013. When the couple returned to Dallas, they couldn’t find them anywhere, so Bryan tinkered in the kitchen until he perfected the Belgian waffle.

Their menu consists of sweet waffles with toppings like Nutella, chocolate, caramel and more. Their savory offerings include chicken and waffles and waffles with melted cheese and bacon. They periodically offer special waffles like the Elvis with bananas and peanut butter. What makes Belgian waffles, and Press Waffle, so special is they are dough based, not batter based like the waffles in the USA.

When brother Caleb moved home after college, the boys decided to open a waffle-themed food truck. In 2016, they raised $15,150 on Kickstarter and opened their food truck in the Dallas area. Since then, they’ve grown to three additional brick and mortar locations with plans for franchising and more locations. They likely want a Shark’s help expanding their franchise operations.

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Press Waffles Restaurants

Press Waffle Shark Tank Recap

Caleb and Bryan enter seeking $200,000 for 8% of their business. They tell their story and hand out samples. Their numbers are good: they did $900,000 last year which is about $5000 per square foot – a good metric for restaurants. They currently set up in “food halls” which charge anywhere from 15%-25.5% off the top line revenue in lieu of rent. Each location costs about $115,000 to $150,000 to open.

Needless to say, the Sharks love the numbers as much as the waffles and the bidding begins. Mark thinks 8% is too little – he offers $350,000 for 20%. Barbara chimes in citing the success of Cousins Maine Lobster – she has two offers: $200,000 for 15% or $400,000 for 30%. Kevin offers $200,000 as straight up debt at 7%-11% for 3% equity plus he’ll finance additional openings. Lori likes Kevin’s deal and goes out while encouraging them to take it. Robert offers $600,000 and asks what equity do the guys thin k it’s worth. They won’t go above 20%, so Robert alters his offer to $400,000 for 20%.

Barbara tells the guys she’s the right partner. They ask her to do $300,000 for 15%. She counters with $250,000 for 15% but the guys won’t budge. She ultimately agrees to their terms and, as I predicted, they do the deal with Barbara.

Press Waffle Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. On the night the show aired, they got over 400 qualified franchisee leads. Their goal is to find ten new franchisees in a year. The deal with Barbara closed and the guys opened a fourth store by June, 2019. With Barbara’s track record, this will likely be a successful franchise.

The business gets an update segment in episode 1116 where we hear about their new stores. In the aftermath of THAT update, they got another 200 qualified franchise leads. As of December, 2020 they had seven stores. Plans for expanding in 2020 were put on hold, but at the end of 2020 they announced the opening of an eighth location in The Woodlands, Texas. 2021 will see new stores in Houston, Dallas, Little Rock, St. Louis, and Arizona.

In December, 2021, they announced the opening of a Denver, Colorado location in the spring of 2022. In October, 2022, they opened their eighth franchise. If you’re interested in franchising, you’ll need a minimum of $100,000 in cash and expect to invest a total of $200,000-$400,000.

By April, 2024, they still had 8 locations. Annual revenue at this time is $8.5 million.