Phoenix/ Retail & Industry
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Published on March 01, 2024
Drew Brees-Backed Smalls Sliders Set to Launch 22 Locations in Phoenix Area with Purple Square ManagementSource: Facebook/Smalls Sliders

Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is ready to go long in the burger business, with his Smalls Sliders chain tackling an expansion into the Phoenix metro area. The Atlanta-based cheeseburger joint, where Brees partners with the private equity firm 10 Point Capital, is setting up to launch 22 new locations, marking the chain's move into the western U.S., ABC 15 reported.

Smalls has hooked up with Tampa powerhouse Purple Square Management (PSM) for its grand desert debut. PSM, which manages a hefty portfolio of more than 250 franchises including heavy hitters like Baskin Robbins and Popeyes, is banking on the Smalls concept to score big with the Valley crowd. The deal with Phoenix isn't PSM's first rodeo with the pint-sized patty purveyor; they've already established Smalls in Atlanta and Tampa, according to a Business Journal report.

The compactness of Smalls Sliders' locales also seems to be a winning strategy for PSM. With an 800 square feet modular design, these drive-thru only eateries are looking to slip into some tight spots. The prefab spots, topped with a stylish recycled shipping container, allow for swift setups. "We're expecting big volume," PSM's CEO, Vik Patel, told the Business Journal. "But where you really benefit is not necessarily needing to have months and months of construction when you can just get the site and pad ready and then come and plop this building on top and then a few weeks later you're operational."

Real estate is serious game, and Patel's not shying away from prime locations despite higher costs. "We certainly don't want to compromise on the real estate. People have options and outside of the quality of your operations, the quality of your real estate is probably as important or more important," he stated in the same Business Journal interview. With eyes set on "A++" sites, the team at PSM is poised to be a formidable player in the fast-food franchise field. It seems that when it comes to laying down the foundation for a Smalls location, every yard counts.

PSM anticipates cracking into the Phoenix market by mid-2025, though Patel has hinted that, if real estate deals can be fast-tracked, the timeline for opening some locations could be moved up.