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Inspire Brands

Inspire Brands Leverages Multi-Brand Platform to Offer Flexible Development Options for Traditional and Nontraditional Operators

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New formats drive further profitability and flexibility for operators, more choices for consumers

Inspire Brands, a global restaurant company with a portfolio of six complementary and category-leading brands, is uniquely positioned and committed to offering operators highly flexible and profitable growth options.

Working closely with operators, Inspire has the brands, capabilities, and innovative formats to enable unique growth options for operators across types of real estate and development opportunities. For example, Inspire is leveraging format innovation with smaller, more efficient building prototypes and maximizing real estate efficiency through co-locating its complementary brands on one parcel of land or within an existing building or allotted space. 

“Our commitment to being a franchisor of choice is fundamental to how we approach format innovation at Inspire,” said Christian Charnaux, Chief Growth Officer, Inspire Brands. “This commitment drives us to unlock the potential benefits our brands can share when operated together. Either separately demised on one piece of real estate or within a shared space for nontraditional applications like airports and universities, our new formats open up new opportunities for our franchisees, provide more choices for customers, and further accelerate Inspire’s net unit growth.” 

Maximizing Real Estate Utilization

For standard pad sites, Inspire has introduced co-locations aimed at maximizing the revenue potential of that land by enabling franchisees to develop and open a second complementary brand within the Inspire portfolio on the same piece of real estate. These co-locations can also be developed on a smaller lot, with two brands fitting on as little as half an acre.

This co-location format includes a SONIC and Jimmy John’s in a footprint that only the SONIC had occupied before

“The focus on optimizing building design and construction methods is a testament to Inspire’s determination to create outsized returns for our operators,” Charnaux said. “We’re not just reimagining our restaurants, but how the parcel of land itself is utilized to deliver superior returns for our franchisees.”

For high-traffic locations with a high propensity for drive-thru, small lot sizes, or co-location opportunities, Inspire has launched its Universal Modular design. This prefabricated building design is extensible across all six brands, significantly improving efficiency and the speed of the build. This leads to quicker returns on investment and a competitive edge in the market.

Inspire’s Universal Modular design can be easily modified to fit the needs of Arby’s. Dunkin’, Sonic, and Jimmy John’s

While the module is standardized in shape and size, the branding, kitchen layout, and equipment are customized to the restaurant’s brand. The module can be prepared independently from the building itself, pulled from inventory at the plant, and delivered on demand, leading to a greater speed to market for operators.

The Universal Modular is optimized for drive-thru-only applications. Last year, in Cornelia, GA, Sonic opened its first drive-thru-only location, which was also Inspire’s first operational Universal Modular. This building was manufactured off-site and delivered in two large pieces via a flatbed trailer. It was then quickly assembled on-site after the foundation was poured, shortening the build time by more than 30 percent. 

Even without using modular construction, Inspire’s drive-thru-only concepts have delivered further flexibility and profitability for operators. For example, Dunkin’ has a concept of less than 1,000 square feet that can support multiple drive-thru lanes—a pickup lane for people who order in advance on the Dunkin’ app and a traditional lane where orders can be placed. These locations can also be outfitted with a walk-up window. 

Sonic Drive-Thru Only and Modular location, Cornelia, GA; Dunkin’ Drive-Thru Only Location; Drive-Thru Only Jimmy John’s, Bartow, FL

Optimizing Existing Structures

Inspire also has solutions to maximize the profitability of existing restaurant buildings. 

As consumer preferences have shifted to on-the-go options, numerous legacy buildings may have more dining space than needed. With Inspire’s complimentary brands, franchisees can repurpose that underutilized space into another restaurant revenue opportunity, separately demised to maintain the uniqueness of each brand experience. 

For example, a legacy Dunkin’ operator in Rockledge, FL, owned a building that initially shared an adjacent space with an electronics retailer. When the retailer’s lease ended, the franchisee, who had recently become a franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings, was able to put Buffalo Wild Wings GO in the adjacent space.  

Devine Wing’s newest Buffalo Wild Wings GO in Brevard County, Florida. This location shares a building with Dunkin`, which is also owned and operated by Devine Wings.   

Adapting to New or Existing Nontraditional Spaces

With brands across all dayparts and format flexibility through multi-brand, co-locations, and modular concepts, Inspire is an attractive partner for operators in nontraditional locations such as universities, airports, and travel plazas.

These multi-brand concepts have an integrated shared space, which could include a shared back-of-house, where multiple brands can be served from the same kitchen. Multi-brand locations require less equipment, real estate, and labor, ultimately driving higher operator returns. 

“Our multi-brand approach to nontraditional locations enables franchisees to mix and match brands to address specific needs, covering all dayparts and customer needs, all with lower capital and operating costs than single-brand solutions, resulting in happier customers and more profitable operators,” Charnaux said. 

A recent example is at Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta, Georgia, where Dunkin’ franchisee Chunara Group had space and plans for one brand. However, in partnership with Inspire’s development team, they augmented the location to include both Dunkin’ and Jimmy John’s within the original space allotment.

Dunkin’ and Jimmy John’s Multi-Brand at Georgia Tech

By sharing a common back-of-house, the two brands share a walk-in box, three-compartment sink, mop sink, office, prep stations, and storage areas. This maximizes space and saves on equipment costs for the franchisee, allowing for shared labor deployment with cross-trained team members.

This multi-brand approach can, under special circumstances, be utilized in traditional locations in limited applications, typically in dense urban cores. For example, a Dunkin’ franchisee with a heavy morning business may have extra space in the dining room, which can be used to add a complementary brand like Jimmy John’s, whose core business is later in the day. While the brands share space to enhance efficiency, the guest experience and ordering process for each brand remain true to their unique identities.

Inspire Brands: The Partner of Choice

With its leading brands spanning all dayparts, a scaled, tightly integrated platform, and a commitment to offering operators the most profitable and flexible formats and solutions in the industry, Inspire Brands is dedicated to being the partner of choice.

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