How Grumpy’s Restaurant Has Won Over Northeast Florida’s Heart
The restaurant industry is infamously known for dedicating a lot of hard work and commitment. After 15 years in the industry, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to own and operate a successful restaurant. Currently, I am the President & CEO of Grumpy’s Restaurant and Grumpy’s Restaurant Franchise, which is a traditional Americana, full-service restaurant franchise based in Jacksonville, Florida.
More about Jacksonville’s Favorite Restaurant
Grumpy’s Restaurant was born out of passion and love for bringing family and friends together over great diner food. Our commitment and mission are to deliver the highest quality dining experience at an affordable price for families everywhere. We will never waver on our commitment to excellent home-style cooking, attention-to-detail, sweet southern hospitality and serving a hungry-person’s portion at a working-class price. All while closing at 2:00PM, providing the ultimate family, work and life balance.
Founded in 1999 and franchising since 2019, Grumpy’s Restaurant offers fresh, made-to-order and always-made-from-scratch menu items for breakfast, brunch and lunch. With an array of daily and weekly chalk board specials, a variety of sandwiches, homemade soups, salads, signature coffee, fresh squeezed juices, homemade hot chocolate and desserts, Grumpy’s has the perfect meal for everyone.
A few popular menu items from Grumpy’s include our Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, which are topped with hot cinnamon roll center, house made icing, walnuts and powdered sugar and our Spicy Fried Chicken Benedict, which includes poached eggs served over fried chicken on a buttermilk biscuit topped with spicy hollandaise sauce and fried jalapenos. Our customers also love our specialty waffles such as the Strawberry Cheesecake Waffle that is infused with New York cheesecake pieces and topped with a whole slice of New York cheesecake, strawberries, whipped cream and house made icing.
With locations currently open in Orange Park, Middleburg and St. Johns Florida Grumpy’s has proven itself to be local favorite in Northeast Florida. Due to its popularity, there will be a fourth location opening in Wildlight (Yulee, FL) later this year and a fifth to follow after that. The new location will be owned by husband and wife duo and longtime Yulee residents, LeAnne & Ray Rhoden.
Hard Work Pays Off
Some notable recognition that Grumpy’s has received for its delicious food and great atmosphere include being named one of the “Top 12 Breakfast Spots in Florida” by Florida Rentals, and earning multiple Bold City Best 2021 awards for best “Restaurant Overall,” “Breakfast,” “Brunch,” “Family Restaurant,” “Pancakes,” “Bang for the Buck Restaurant,” and Jacksonville Business Journal’s “Best Place to Work” award. 2021 was its third year in a row receiving the Jacksonville Business Journal’s award and third time receiving Bold City Best, “Best Restaurant Overall” award. In addition, Grumpy’s has been awarded FSR Magazine’s Next-Gen Restaurant Brand 2021, TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award, and Jacksonville Business Journal’s Fast 50 Company 2021.
We are so thankful to have received so many accolades over the past year. Thanks to our hard working staff and our loyal customers, Grumpy’s has stayed a staple in Northeast Florida and we cannot wait to bring Grumpy’s to more communities.
Advice for Restaurant Owners
While a franchise system can set you up with training, guidance and development plans, it is up to you to make the restaurant yours and create a friendly atmosphere. If you’re thinking about owning a restaurant franchise, your staff will become a big part of your life. Having family-focused values will help your staff enjoy coming to work each day and allow them to provide the best experience possible to customers. Operating a restaurant isn’t a one-person job; it takes an army of servers, bussers, cooks and more to ensure that everything is operating efficiently. Creating a good relationship with every single one of your team members will make sure that your restaurant has a healthy work environment, which will resonate with your customers as well.
While providing exceptional service and offering delicious food is a necessity to any successful restaurant, I’ve learned that customers value more than just that. Getting involved within your community and taking the time to build relationships with the people is a great way to gain loyal customers and make your restaurant a favorite in your town. Finding ways to give back and help those in your community who are in need is a great way to show your community that your restaurant cares.
To sum it all up, Grumpy’s motto is simple- No One Leave Grumpy! By following our motto, I have been fortunate to watch Grumpy’s become a stable in the Jacksonville community and expand across Northeast Florida. I believe that following our motto can help any restaurant become successful.
A Look to the Future for Grumpy’s Restaurant
This year I am hoping to connect with new franchise partners who can carry out Grumpy’s’ mission to support others and create a welcoming, family-focused community restaurant. Grumpy’s is looking to bring its delicious diner food to more cities in Northeast Florida including Mandarin, Julington Creek, San Marco, Riverside, Beaches, and St. Augustine. Grumpy’s goal is to sign 3 development deals this year as the restaurant continues to gain popularity. I am hopeful that Grumpy’s will soon expand out of Florida and into other states across the country.
Including a franchise fee of $40,000, the initial investment necessary to open a single location ranges between $414,200 and $998,000. Each Grumpy’s Restaurant location will occupy approximately 2,800 square feet of real estate and will have approximately 110 seats.
About the Author
Daniel DeLeon is the President and CEO of Grumpy’s Restaurant. He purchased Grumpy’s in 2017 and made it a successful franchise in 2019. Prior to his role at Grumpy’s, DeLeon had not only owned and operated multiple restaurant franchise locations, but also grew six local businesses from the ground up. After having a successful career as a multi-unit franchisee and large franchisor consultant it’s no wonder he was able to completely transform Grumpy’s into the award-winning brand it is now.