Famous Dave’s to Sell Off Its Corporate-Owned Stores
Photo courtesy of Daniel Case (Wikimedia Commons, CC)

Famous Dave’s to Sell Off Its Corporate-Owned Stores

The restaurant chain wants to focus on developing new menu items, marketing and training and development.

Famous Dave’s will sell off its corporate-owned locations and put a focus on franchise strategy, the company announced on Tuesday.

Sales of the Minnetonka-based barbecue chain’s 33 restaurants are expected to occur in the next 12 to 24 months. Famous Dave’s already has 135 franchise locations across 32 states.

“As we drive forward with this transformation, we believe tremendous opportunities lie ahead,” CEO Mike Lister said in a statement. “It will enable our team to focus our efforts on food and beverage innovation, marketing, franchise operations, training and development.”

The store spinoff is part of a larger effort to retool the struggling company, which in 2016 saw sales fall 13 percent and was forced to close several locations. At the end of last year, Famous Dave’s said it would give its restaurants a makeover—including bolder colors, a changed logo and an improved takeout area.

It’s perhaps not a surprise that selling locations to franchisees would be a strategy Lister is pursuing—he’s one himself. The company is on its fourth CEO in as many years, and when Lister joined, the company referred to him as one of its most-successful franchise owners. He also previously served as a Famous Dave’s executive.

In 2015, TCB examined the restaurant chain’s struggle to reignite its former popularity during its early years.

Famous Dave’s will release is Q1 results on May 15.