Franchise Players: Married Burger Franchisees on Playing to Each Other’s Strengths



BY  | April 3, 2014


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

Joe and Laurie Scheibelhut spent 30 years working apart – in the construction and insurance industries, respectively – before working together to open a Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries restaurant. The duo had been regular customers of the burger joint prior to franchising, allowing them to get to know the company even though neither had prior restaurant experience. Hwy 55 went from a date spot to a business for the couple in 2012. Here’s what they’ve learned in the last year and a half about running a franchise with your spouse.

 Name: Joe and Laurie Scheibelhut

Franchise owned (location): Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries, in Jensen Beach, Fla.

How long have you owned the franchise?

We opened Dec. 21, 2012

Why franchising?

Without any previous restaurant knowledge, we felt that it was important to join a franchise system with strong operational and training programs in place. We also wanted to avoid some start up risk by purchasing a franchise with a great track record of success.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

Joe: 30 years in the construction industry ranging from home remodeling, project management & fire/water restoration.

Laurie: Over 30 years in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

While living in North Carolina we were regular customers at our local Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries location and saw first hand how rapidly the brand had expanded in the North Carolina market. When we decided to move to Florida in 2012 and learned that Hwy 55 had recently began franchising outside of the state of North Carolina, we saw this as an amazing opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a brand that we have great confidence in.

How was the process of becoming a franchise owner different for a couple versus and individual? Seeing that we are a couple and understand each other better than the typical business partner, we have the ability to really take advantage of both of our strengths. Laurie handles the scheduling and compliance, while I handle most of day-to-day operations.

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

The initial investment for a restaurant with a build out similar to ours probably would have cost approximately $250,000. We found an excellent opportunity to move into a second generation restaurant space that already had a lot of the necessary equipment and infrastructure in place, which drastically reduced our cost.

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Big “A” Becomes the “55 Challenge!” Come get some!

ImageBy Paul Stephen

Two minutes, 43 seconds. That’s exactly how long it takes Elvis Presley to croon his way through “Love Me Tender.” It’s the same amount of time it took “Furious” Pete Czerwinski to plow through enough food to feed a half-dozen people.

Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries has a long-standing menu item that throws down a gauntlet to the ambitious eaters of the world. The Five Five Challenge stacks 55 ounces of burger patties atop a bun layered with 18 slices of cheese and is served with an order of fries and a large drink. Glory-seeking gluttons are allowed 30 minutes to clean their plate, lest they get stuck with a $25 bill to cover the meal.

For the rest of the article:

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HWY 55 Is Now An International Highway!

Visiting HWY 55 in Abu Dhabi, the two men that made it happen, Mr. Kenny Moore and Mr. Khamis Al Rumaithy.

Visiting HWY 55 in Abu Dhabi, the two men that made it happen, Mr. Kenny Moore and Mr. Khamis Al Rumaithy.

Abu Dhabi, UAE, Opens
March 8, 2014
Hwy 55′s first international location is open!

Abu Dhabi, Capitol of the United Arab Emirates now has the best burgers in the world.

Assaad Khalil posted Hwy55 restaurant, next to Al Mamoura building and Lulu express, Murror street, Abu Dhabi, tel: +971 2 641 11 61.

For franchise info, please visit:

John Lee Powers I would love to eat a burger there !!!!
March 10 at 10:50am · Like

Barbara Rochelle Garris How exciting! Congratulations!
March 10 at 11:23am · Like

Jami Meiggs Schuster Big Congratulations! Spreading some North Carolina Hwy 55 flavor in Middle East!
March 10 at 11:50am · Like

Jane Ellen Ingram THAT is cool. My husband spends a lot of time over there so I’m sure he is happy !
March 10 at 8:53pm · Like

Haifa Al Hamdani whats your phone number in abu dhabi ?
March 12 at 4:59am · Like

Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries Haifa Al Hamdani the address and phone number, Building C66 Al Muroor Road
Shop No. 10
Abu Dhabi, …See More
March 13 at 4:01pm · Like

Haifa Al Hamdani I was there yesterday , I had lovely lunch and I felt I am in the states, thnx
March 14 at 7:24am · Like

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L-R Rex Stephens, Kenny Moore, Jon  Corts

L-R Rex Stephens, Kenny Moore, Jon


New Franchising Master Agreement In Place

Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries will soon be a new addition to the states of Texas and Oklahoma. Founded and developed by Kenny Moore, Hwy 55 has grown in popularity and size since opening as Andy’s in 1991. A North Carolina favorite, the brand has expanded and can now be found in South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Florida, with stores under construction in Alabama, Tennessee, Toronto Canada and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The 50’s themed restaurant has now caught the attention of the great states of Texas and Oklahoma.

Rex Stephens, commercial real estate developer, has purchased the rights to develop 265 locations in Texas and 38 in Oklahoma. When asked why he chose the Hwy 55 concept, he cited the great tasting food, but the “Servant Leadership” culture of the company matched his own business philosophy. And he felt Hwy 55’s core values, great food, and outstanding service would be embraced by the folks in their home states just as it has been in North Carolina. Jon Corts, originally of Winston Salem will spearhead operations for the project.

Hwy 55 founder and CEO, Kenny Moore has noted that our company can only become more successful with the addition of fine people like Rex Stephens and Jon Corts.

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Hwy 55 Burgers in Apex for Beefy, Greasy Deliciousness!

Thanks to Ron Wen.

Have you ever been hit by an overwhelming desire for a big ol’ greasy cheeseburger?! Well yeah, it’s not always the wisest feeling to cave into but sometimes ya gotta do it. Usually Five Guys in Cary would be my dealer of choice. A quick check on Yelp and it looks like there’s a Hwy 55 down the street in Apex. Read more here:


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Happy New Year! 2013 in review..

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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New HWY 55 restaurant opening soon at U Square!

u-square*600Thanks to Tom Demeropolis
Cincinnati Business Courier

Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries is scheduled to open its second location in Greater Cincinnati next week at U Square @ the Loop.
The 2,200-square-foot restaurant will open Oct. 21, located on the West McMillan Street side of U Square. Dawn Hoback, the local franchisee for Hwy 55, along with her husband, Rick, said the ’50s style family restaurant offers a good price point for college students. U Square is a $78 million mixed-use development just south of the University of Cincinnati main campus.

Read more here:


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