Walk-On’s, a leading full-service family sports bar that provides gourmet takes on game day favorites, was faced with the ultimate test as it was forced to innovate and adapt amid the pandemic to support its franchisees and continue to serve its communities safely in a time of need. With a determined leadership team and committed group of franchise partners, the brand is poised for continued long-term success. Walk-On’s strategic growth and innovative strategies have not gone unnoticed, having recently been recognized as the No. 1 brand in Entrepreneur’s prestigious 2020 Top New Franchises Ranking.

The ranking is based on a list of the top 100 companies submitted for Entrepreneur’s 2019 Franchise 500® ranking that began franchising in the last five years. The companies ranked in the Top 2020 New Franchises list are ranked based on scores they received in the Franchise 500 evaluation, which analyzes more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

Walk-On’s brand strength has remained strong during these unprecedented times, with its culture truly paving the way and serving as its guiding light while navigating the pandemic. The brand’s “walk-on” mentality is centered on the responsibility of supporting your team unconditionally no matter the situation, even as an underdog. As the world faced this pandemic, everyone felt a bit like an underdog up against an invisible enemy, but by coming together as a team and supporting each other and its communities, Walk-On’s was certain it would prevail.

For franchisees, Walk-On’s temporarily suspended its royalty payments, with the suggestion that owners pour those funds into homegrown efforts to support their team members. It also retained all its managers to preserve company culture and have a foundation set for post-pandemic efforts. Meanwhile the brand adapted its business operations to offer Curbside ‘To-Geaux’ and third-party delivery while rolling out all-new family value meals, take & bake options, grocery to-geaux, and more. Notably, Walk-On’s joined forces with Furlough Kitchen to debut “Furlough Kitchen by Walk-On’s,” a non-profit organization that provides furloughed hospitality workers free meals, no matter their former employer. The movement continues to gain momentum now having served over 14,000 meals with more than 20 activations across 5 states.

“We are humbled and honored to be recognized by Entrepreneur as the top 2020 new franchise,” said Walk-On’s President & COO, Scott Taylor. “Especially recently, it is a reminder of the incredible culture we’ve built, our hardworking franchise office support team, and our dedicated franchisees that continue to propel this brand to greatness. We can’t wait to welcome our loyal fans back through our doors, push forward with new grand openings, and continue to expand our nationwide footprint through strategic franchise partnerships with a strong foundation to emerge stronger than ever before.”

Today, with over 150 locations in development across 15 states, the brand is on track for continued strategic franchise expansion. Popular for being both the go-to place for game day and an eatery known for quality, scratch-made dishes, Walk-On’s has carved its own vertical to best support what fans love most. Whether it be for date night, a drink, girl’s-night-out or a family dinner, Walk-On’s is the place for everyone – because everyone needs a little playing time.

For more information on Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux and its franchise opportunity, please visit https://walk-ons.com/franchising.

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