Billy Joel used Allentown, Pennsylvania in a tune to characterize city decay, however for pubby P.J. Whelihan’s it’s been a steppingstone to luck.
In 1993 the Platzer’s opened their first P.J. Whelihan’s in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since then, it has unfold its wings and prolonged via Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
By way of 2019, it has expanded to 17 places with 4 area partnerships so now has 21 completely. All websites are company-owned; none is franchised.
Lovers come to observe the Eagles and Steelers on Sunday, the Phillies within the hotter months, and the 76ers and Flyers in iciness.
It’s owned through the PJW Eating place Team, which has branched out to broaden different manufacturers, even supposing P.J. Whelihan’s has at all times been the linchpin. It additionally operates The Pour Space, Treno Pizza Bar, Central Taco and Tequila, The ChopHouse and ChopHouse Grille.
P.J. Whelihan’s was once additionally named one of the most nation’s 50 Most sensible Rising Eating place Chains in 2019 through a number one trade e-newsletter.
It began again in 1983 when Robert and Donna Platzer opened Platzer’s in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, about 75 miles north of Philadelphia. It sooner or later was once became a P.J. Whelihan’s.
In 2020, P.J. Whelihan’s plans on opening two new places: in Horsham, Pennsylvania, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Because it serves as predominantly a sports activities bar plus eating place, its most well liked dinner pieces are wings with its 22 signature sauces, PJs burger, consisting of 100% Angus pork and its signature crinkle-cut fries. Its moderate dinner test runs between $18 and $20 in step with individual.
Visitors don’t must stretch very a long way to discover a TV since maximum places moderate round 40 TVs at each and every web site.
Right here’s what Westmont, New Jersey-based PJW Eating place Team CEO Jim Fris stated about its enlargement:
How did P.J. Whelihan’s extend?
Fris: In 1993, that was once the primary P.J. Whelihan’s in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And our 2d opened in Haddonfield, New Jersey. After which we started to populate New Jersey the place P.J. Whelihan’s had a powerful presence after which southern Pennsylvania, the place nearly all of enlargement got here.
The place does JPW Eating place Team have compatibility into the image?
Fris: We branched out to different manufacturers. In 2002, we opened Chop Space, a high-end steak area in south Jersey after which the Pour Space. It’s a cafe staff singularly owned through Robert Platzer, who’s now govt chairman.
How does being owned through a big eating place staff make growth more uncomplicated?
Fris: Since P.J. Whelihan’s is the lead logo, we’re at all times searching for growth. The whole thing is constructed round it. It’s also essentially the most winning logo. We’re submitting nice markets with our different manufacturers, however we’re all in favour of rising P.J. Whelihan’s.
What attracts a buyer to it?
Fris: Neighborhood, sports activities and a laugh. We’re no longer a sports activities bar; we’re an excellent group pub the place you may have a laugh and watch the sport. We’re deeply embedded in the neighborhood, which contains fundraisers for group occasions.
Why do you assert it’s no longer a game bar?
Fris: We’re a cafe with a bar and an excellent spot to observe a recreation. And an excellent spot to be on Tuesday night time when there’s no soccer recreation. Tuesday night time attracts a cult following for half-priced wings.
Let’s discuss your menu.
Fris: We promote over 12 million wings a 12 months. It drives 24% of our trade of our meals gross sales. And that’s why folks come there. In case you met an individual in the street and stated P.J.’s, they’d say wings. Our 4 best pieces are: wings, burgers, cheesesteaks and salads.
Describe the objective target market who dines there.
Fris: I’d like to inform you a selected staff, however we draw the whole thing from the plumber to the physician, youngsters and the football mother, and the whole thing in between. In case you got here at lunch, you’d discover a trade lunch. And we have now an excessively busy glad hour, which kicks into circle of relatives eating.
If anyone have been seeking to cut back their ldl cholesterol stage or consume in a wholesome method, what would they make a choice at P.J.Whelihan’s?
Fris: We’re no longer simply greasy fried meals. We’ve got an excellent salad variety. We presented the Past Burger a few 12 months in the past, and we now promote over 1000 per week. We additionally be offering a Keto bowl.
Many sports activities bars decide to franchise, however your whole outposts are company-owned. Why move this path?
Fris: We’ve been very a success at being company-owned. We delight ourselves as discovering places. Usually they’re bankrupt or closed, and we’ve accomplished neatly at it. We’re ready to stay regulate and stay our tradition retailer through retailer. Whilst you franchise, that’s a distinct tale.
You don’t be offering supply. Why no longer?
Fris: We stood at the sidelines and watched. As I take a look at it from either side, we have now 5 other supply corporations, and nobody’s earning profits and their margins are being shaved to not anything. We’re going to nonetheless sit down at the sidelines and wait to peer the way it shakes out.
You’ve stayed most commonly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Would this idea paintings in different places?
Fris: I do consider it could. We’ve had the ones conversations. If there have been one eating place in Syracuse, we wouldn’t do it. But when there have been 5 to be had in Syracuse, I’d take into consideration it.
Two years from lately, what do you are expecting to peer occur with P.J. Whelihan’s?
Fris: I be expecting to peer between six and 8 new P.J. Whelihan’s.
Describe the 3 keys on your luck.
Fris: Enlargement, menu innovation and folks.