DALLAS — Florida-based restaurant franchise Ford’s Garage is expanding to Dallas.
The burger and craft beer restaurant has signed a multi-unit agreement to develop seven to 10 locations throughout the Dallas metroplex. The first restaurant is scheduled to open in Plano in early 2022.
Restauranteurs Brian Judd and Jason Borders are leading the expansion. Judd and Borders have about 70 years of combined experience owning and operating restaurants.
Judd said they are concentrating on opening the Plano location and are looking in the market for other locations.
“Nothing more American than cheeseburgers and Texas,” Judd said. “We love the population. We really think there is nothing like our brand in the marketplace, and that it will be received very well.”
For the first location, Judd said he is looking to hire 130 to 150 employees and anticipates that finding staff might be challenging.
“As with the restaurant industry across the nation, I do believe there is a shortage of staffing right now, so that can be a huge challenge for many restaurant operators,” Judd said.
Founded in 2012 and franchising since 2015, Ford’s Garage is the only restaurant with the rights to use Ford’s (NYSE: F) brand imagery including the blue-oval logo, images of Ford vehicles, archived historical pictures and actual Model Ts. Each location is designed to look like a gas station from the 1920s. The restaurants are filled with vintage Ford cars and gas pumps. Servers wear blue mechanic shirts, and blue shop cloths serve as napkins.
The first Ford’s Garage opened in Fort Myers, Florida less than a mile from Henry Ford’s winter home. The restaurant franchise currently has 14 locations in Florida and one location in both Indiana and Michigan.
“I’m excited about the expansion because it is such an exciting brand,” Judd said. “It's like you’re going to a museum. You get to see the car motors on display, and you get to see the cars on display.”
Judd said the restaurant franchise is focusing on its upcoming Dallas locations but is also looking to expand into other Texas markets.
“Our first couple locations we’re looking to do in Dallas,” Judd said. “However, we are keeping an eye on the Houston market as well.”