• Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

Killer Burger Targets Strategic Franchise Expansion | Franchise News

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Nov 23, 2022

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The first Killer Burger opened in Portland, Oregon in 2010, and now with 19 locations, it’s looking to accelerate the franchise.


Killer Burger founder TJ Southard created what he called a “clean bite” for his burgers. With 100% topping coverage in every bite, this focus has set the brand apart, first in Portland, Oregon, and helped it grow even in tough times. With CEO John Dikos now at the helm, he is focused on building a franchise system while staying true to the brand’s origins.

After joining Killer Burger’s board for the first time and in 2021 assuming the role of Chief Development Officer, Dikos has been CEO since 2022. He has spent much of his time “preparing the business to scale and to put in place the leadership to do so”. something he has done before at MOD Pizza and Qdoba. Like pizza and Mexican fare, burger restaurants compete in a large and established industry, and Dikos said Killer Burger has been working hard on its expansion plan as it seeks to fill the northwest of the Pacific and to penetrate the western mountain.

This includes market assessment, finding space to take over or build, and supply chain analysis. Killer Burger uses an analytics program for its existing stores, of which there are 19 (12 corporate, seven franchise). The program learns about customers already served, and using that data, it can find markets with similar demographics.







John Dikos

Killer Burger CEO John Dikos came to the brand after six years at MOD Pizza.


“It’s half art and half science,” Dikos said.

However, bringing Killer Burger to new markets isn’t just about customers. These are future franchisees. “The franchise side is the main driver for us,” he said. “We will still be opening company stores, but franchises will start to eclipse us.”

He believes Killer Burger’s culture, experience and focus on premium ingredients will help it stand out in a crowded market where franchisees are spoiled for choice. It is also about showing growth. The brand has opened four franchise stores and three corporate stores since last summer. One of those franchise openings was with former University of Oregon football star and former NFL player LaMichael James, who now has two units. He also signed a franchise agreement for another restaurant in Oregon, in Wilsonville.

“The best brands are doing it, they are continuing to develop their stores,” Dikos said. “There isn’t a franchisee in our system today that isn’t growing.”

The company in 2020 also attracted Village Family Capital as an investor. Jake Kindrachuk, who founded VFC, previously told Franchise Times that Killer Burger is an “icon in the region that provides customers with a great product and experience in all of their locations. It already had a solid foundation in place to grow, which was one of the main reasons that attracted our team to the brand. »

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