At Barrel House, we’re excited to partner with our franchise owners to bring Food That Lifts Your Spirits to communities all around the Midwest! Earlier this year, we worked with Raymond from Tentac Enterprises to open a new Barrel House location in Bloomington, Illinois.
This was our first franchise opening in Illinois, and we’ve been so impressed by the way the Bloomington community has embraced Barrel House! We sat down with Raymond to learn a little bit more about his experience opening a Barrel House franchise, and he was happy to share some details in hopes of helping future franchise owners!
Tentac Enterprises first heard about Barrel House through a social media ad on Facebook. Raymond reached out through the learn more form on our website, and we reached out to learn more about him, the Tentac team, and how we could work together!
Tentac is the parent company of over 20 businesses across Central Illinois, ranging from insurance, to hospitality, to marketing. The Bloomington Barrel House location is their first foray into franchising. We were thrilled to become their first franchise partner, and they confirmed that, “[a]s a company that owns multiple businesses, opening a Barrel House Franchise was a very exciting experience.”
Our franchise team has enjoyed working with Raymond and the rest of Tentac’s team on this process, from start to finish. They mentioned that, “from the initial contact with the Barrel House Brand to the Grand Opening, the Barrel House brand and staff were there for support, guidance, and encouragement.” Barrel House’s We Care Culture isn’t just a mantra for how we treat restaurant guests – it’s a philosophy that truly extends to working with our franchise partners. Said Raymond, “Jimmy, Chris, Mike, and Jen are ALL TOP NOTCH to work with! They are very responsive and easy to work with!”
Building out this location took around 9 months. There were some renovations, and the current supply chain issues had an effect, but we’re thrilled with the final results! The highlight is the brand-new front-facing patio, which was built with garage doors that open between the indoor and outdoor dining areas. This addition will allow all guests to enjoy good weather and live music, and we love how it turned out. Indoor/outdoor dining is one of the things that makes Barrel House
As part of our standard franchise process, we provided remote and in-person support for the new restaurant and its team. Our process takes much of the guesswork out of opening a new restaurant – our experience opening Barrel Houses around the region helps us anticipate problems, and provide a solid foundation for success. According to the Tentac team, we were able to provide “marketing tools, the latest technology, and a phenomenal restaurant concept” that made them confident of their new business’s success
When it came time to open, the Barrel House Bloomington team “[W]e did a quiet opening and the word of mouth traffic alone was perfect for us rather than doing a huge grand opening. In my experience, when opening a new business, especially a restaurant, there are going to be growing pains. We preferred this strategy simply because we did not want to get absolutely slammed and fall flat on our faces right out of the gate. This strategy has given our staff more time and more “practice” to work out the kinks. We plan on making the entire month of November our Grand Opening Month! ”
So far, the Bloomington community has embraced its new Barrel House location, and we’re excited about the future of this location!
We’d like to thank Raymond Ceresa and the Tentac Enterprises team for sharing their experience! If you have any questions about opening a franchise of your own, our team is happy to help. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner, or opening a business for the first time, our first-rate team is excited to partner with you on the next Barrel House location!