Tony Armenti started The Fat Shack in 2010 inside of a bagel shop in Ewing, New Jersey with just $5,000. Nine years later, he has 13 franchises in three states. Initially, he just made late night sandwiches in the bagel shop when it wasn't open. When things got too tight in the bagel shop, Tony moved The Fat Shack to Colorado. After enlisting the help of his college buddy, Kevin Gabauer, the business took off.
The Fat Shack features decadent burgers and sandwiches. The fare is fat, as in BIG. The Fat Shack stuffs sandwiches with things like bacon, chicken fingers, french fries, cheddar cheese sauce, lettuce & ranch – yes, all in the same sandwich. They also serve wings and Philly Cheesesteaks. It isn't just a late night eatery anymore, either. Locations are open 11 AM to 3 AM.
In an era of healthy food options, the Fat Shack is proving people still want good old fashioned comfort food, too. It must be successful, they opened their second store in Colorado in 2015 and grew to 13 locations in just three years. With a landscape littered with fast food franchises, the Fat Shack hopes a Shark can help them stand out in a crowd. Will a Shark write a fat check?
My Take on The Fat Shack
I try to eat healthy most of the time, but as my doctor says, “you don't have to be a Monk.” I like good burgers and cheesesteaks and wings and pretty much everything the Fat Shack has to offer. I wouldn't eat there every day, but if we had one in my neck of the woods, I'd darken their doors on occasion.
I think it would be a good franchise opportunity, too. There are a lot of tired franchise concepts out there and this one looks fresh and fun. The food looks good too. While this restaurant won't be getting any endorsements from the American Heart Association, I think people will eat a lot of their food.
Will the Sharks Like This Franchise?
Franchise food shops are doing well in the Shark Tank. Mark invested in Tom and Chee with Barbara and that business is killing it. The Sharks will invest if the opportunity is there. It's too bad barbara isn't on the panel because she has good luck with franchises.
I think either Kevin or Mark could take a stab at this one. They already have a presence in Texas, where Mark resides. Kevin likes things that make him money and the Fat Shack guys know how to do that. If same store sales are rising and the value proposition is there, expect Kevin and/or Mark to make offers.