Hailing from Munich, Gastager was instrumental in bringing the world-famous brand to the U.S. He tells us why he decided to bring Bavarian culture to America and how the brand continues to expand today as its popularity grows. By Rochelle Miller
Hailing from Munich, Gastager was instrumental in bringing the world-famous brand to the U.S. He tells us why he decided to bring Bavarian culture to America and how the brand continues to expand today as its popularity grows.
What inspired you to bring Hofbräuhaus to America?
In 2000, I visited Las Vegas and realized that this city is one of a kind. You can ride the gondolas of Venice at the Venetian and visit the Eiffel Tower at the Hotel Paris, so why not replicate the most famous beer hall in the world, “The Hofbräuhaus Munich”? Built more than 400 years ago, the Hofbräuhaus is an “original” of Munich and German culture. It stands for authentic Bavarian food, premium beer, and a cozy atmosphere (we call it “Gemütlichkeit” in German), as well as live entertainment. On top of that, it is an architecturally unique building. Doesn’t that fit the entertainment capital of the world perfectly? Together with my partners, Klaus Gastager, Franz Krondorfer, and Anton Sinzger, we made Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas a reality within three years.
What sets Hofbräuhaus apart from the competition in the restaurant sector?
The world-famous and highly recognized Hofbräuhaus brand with its unique atmosphere, live entertainment, dining experience, and beer culture attracts local guests and tourists alike. The proven concept with its highly efficient operation is designed for the long term.
How does merchandising complement the Hofbräuhaus brand?
Branded merchandise is an extension of the popular Hofbräu brand and a marketing tool that takes the brand out into the world. We want our guests and fans to be able to take the feeling of Hofbräuhaus home with them. Whether it’s an HB stein, a shirt, or a magnet for the fridge, we offer a wide selection of memorabilia, so everyone can find their favorite souvenir.
What personal qualities and characteristics make a great Hofbräuhaus of America franchise owner?
It’s definitely a mixture of many characteristics and skills. The “must-haves” include a passion for the restaurant business, being hands-on and results-driven, having financial knowledge, and being a team player. To love the Bavarian culture as much as we do is also a plus, as it will help to promote the unique Hofbräuhaus dining experience.
What training and support do you provide to new franchisees?
Hofbräuhaus of America will provide initial key personnel training for the Brew Master, General Manager, Executive Chef, and Executive Production Chef as part of the initial investment. In addition to the extensive online database of Hofbräuhaus franchise manuals, we provide the franchisee with all the information and brand standards they need.
Why is now a great time to open a new Hofbräuhaus location?
Currently, there are only eight Hofbräuhaus locations in the U.S. Many cities still do not offer this unique dining experience, which provides a great opportunity for a new franchisee. The demand is high! People are constantly requesting a Hofbräuhaus in their specific area, which shows the popularity of the concept and brand.
For more information about franchising opportunities with Hofbräuhaus America, visit hofbrauhaus.us/franchise/.
– Rochelle Miller