Get All Access for $5/mo

Becoming the Largest Franchisee of a 50-Year-Old Brand Over the last eight years, Gregg Hansen has become the biggest Huddle House franchisee, with 18 locations across the U.S.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Huddle House
Huddle House

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email

Even though Huddle House has been around for half a century, Gregg Hansen is dedicated to keeping the brand fresh. With 18 – soon to be 20 – locations around the U.S., Hansen is the chain's largest franchisee. Since he became a franchisee eight years ago, he's been dedicated to helping Huddle House's remodeling overdrive and raising the bar for the 50-year-old brand. Here's what he's learned.

Financing the American Dream: What Entrepreneurs Should Know About the World of Unregulated Lending

Name: Gregg Hansen

Franchise owned: Huddle House, with 18 locations in Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, North Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas.

How long have you owned a franchise?

I have been a Huddle House franchisee for a little over seven years.

Related: What I Have Learned as a Coupon Magazine's First Ever Franchisee

Why franchising?

I want to be an independent owner of my business and be in charge of my own success and utilize my strengths. But, I don't want to recreate the wheel. Franchising is a perfect way to do that.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I have managed restaurants since the age of 18 and have owned various businesses since 1995. Huddle House was the perfect re-entry into the restaurant business.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

I wanted to get back into the restaurant business and was looking for the right opportunity. I fell in love with the Huddle House brand and food. It was the right opportunity!

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

I took over an existing franchisee's Huddle House that wanted to make a change, so there was a very low cash entry point.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

I received significant support and advice from Huddle House corporate and field staff. I also spend a lot of time in the restaurants and together with key staff developed many of the philosophies and systems that we still utilize today.

Related: Getting Into the Growing Business of Fast-Casual Pizza

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

I honestly don't remember any unexpected challenges. Lots of challenges... but not a lot of surprises.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

I think the most important advice that I can give is to keep your monthly fixed costs, particularly occupancy costs, as low as possible. High costs will just make things harder, low costs will make things easier.

What's next for you and your business?

We have grown substantially the last eight months. While we do have another location or two in the horizon, we will spend the next year replenishing our people resources and improving operations of the locations that we acquired the last few months.

Related: Why I Became a Franchisee After Retiring From the NFL

Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.


This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.


Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.