Arooga’s inks mega deal for 50 more franchises in Florida, Georgia

Nearly 100 communities will soon will be able to say “this is my turf” as Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar continues its national expansion.

The casual Dauphin County restaurant chain, known for its wings and wall-to-wall televisions, today announced an area representative agreement with The Sporting Group LLC, a Florida-based franchise development company, for 50 franchise locations over the next eight years.

With its “this is your turf” slogan, Arooga’s will add restaurants across Florida and in five counties in the greater Atlanta area in Georgia.

“To look back over the past seven years and see our growth is truly remarkable,” said Gary Huether Jr., president and co-founder.

In 2003, Pam Price, co-owner of The Sporting Group and Pro Managers LLC, founded Propel Franchising LLC, a franchise-consulting firm focused on business development and growth strategies. Her clients have included Dunkin’ Donuts, Church’s Chicken, Krispy Kreme, Popeye’s Chicken, Seattle Coffee Co. and Carl’s Jr.

Her partner, Paul Garnett, is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and financial strategist.

Arooga’s has 10 corporate locations in Central Pennsylvania. It opened its first franchise location in Uncasville, Conn., earlier this year as part of a 15-unit deal with the Mohegan Tribe.

It has locations in development in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Long Island, New Jersey and Chicago. The new deal pushes Arooga’s to nearly 100 units, including 88 franchise locations, that are either open, in development or under contract.

“Almost everyone starts with one unit in the first year and it ramps up over the term of the agreement,” Huether said of the timeline for some of this year’s announced locations. “Because of the construction time, most will open in early 2016. We anticipate opening eight to 10 franchise locations next year.”

That will include four Mohegan Tribe locations in New England, two of which are under construction. Arooga’s has a lease under negotiation in New York and two in New Jersey, Huether said.

The Dauphin County chain is in the process of moving its headquarters to Swatara Township from neighboring Susquehanna Township to accommodate its future growth. It has now inked six franchise agreements.

Sales and costs

The average gross sales per restaurant for Arooga’s ranges between $2.4 million and $2.8 million, depending on size of the restaurant, according to the chain’s franchise disclosure documents.

The latter sales figure is for restaurants 6,500 square feet and larger, while the former is tied to restaurants 5,200 square feet and smaller.

The chain’s restaurants cost $740,000 to about $2.4 million to open, according to Arooga’s. This includes the initial franchise fee of $49,500, three month’s rent, leasehold improvements, equipment and three month’s working capital for the location.

Arooga’s has a royalty fee of 5 percent of gross sales and 1 percent for brand development in the U.S. The international franchises would pay 6 percent of gross sales and 1.5 percent for brand development.

Arooga’s locations


Jason Scott
Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com.

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