How Catering is Helping Savvy Sliders Grow at a Fast Pace
The four-year-old restaurant brand based in Detroit is seeing growth opportunities thanks to its bustling catering operation.
Four years ago, Savvy Sliders was born. The restaurant started as a spot for better-for-you sliders with fresh, premium meats in miniature. Little did the founders know that it would kickstart a slider revolution in the chain’s hometown of Detroit.
The chain sells a 24-pack of sliders which is very popular among its catering operations, the reason the brand has seen such success. Just before the pandemic, the company was brand-new and trying to get its footing in the metro Detroit area, a district they would later saturate with 35 restaurants.
Most of those were built during the pandemic. Now, the brand is expanding outside of its hometown to places like Columbus, Ohio and San Antonio.
During the pandemic, the chain never had to slow down. In fact, Savvy Sliders was building a new unit every two to three weeks. While supply chains were in crisis, Savvy Sliders was operating at full power.
And, though catering had slowed down for a bit, it’s really picked back up for Savvy Sliders.
The brand is catering office events, parties, weddings, hospitals, schools and more. Most of these are done through the chain’s food truck.
It’s this success for the brand — something the team hopes to replicate in its two other markets — that buoys the leaders’ idea that the brand can reach 400 to 500 restaurants in the next few years.
The food, luckily, is perfectly transportable — something that also came in handy during the pandemic.
“It’s not your traditional slider,” said Mark Wolok, vice president of business development for Savvy Sliders. “This is bigger, better and bolder.”
The fresh sliders are made with Angus Beef.
But it’s not just about the sliders. Unlike those at other restaurants in the segment, the menu at Savvy Sliders is aiming to please everyone who walks through the doors. There are chicken fingers for the kids, custard shakes and falafels for vegetarians.
The brand even does LTOs with the mini-sandwich option. The latest? A crabcake slider.
“We’re always doing testings and tastings to try to come out with a slider of the month,” Wolok said. “And so it really gives people a selection [of food].”
A popular order combo is two sliders, a custard shake and fries, according to Wolok.
“[Our sliders are] not something that you can eat seven or eight of,” he said. “Because they’re gourmet and they’re filling…when [customers are] paying for something, they want value and quality.”
It’s not all about the food at Savvy Sliders. For consumers who choose to dine-in, they’re getting a treat, according to Wolok.
“The atmosphere, along with the quality of our food, our menu and our value for the dollar [are what separate the brand],” Wolok said.
Whether a consumer dines in or orders for delivery, Savvy Sliders is prepared for whatever comes next because “we’ve come out bigger and stronger than ever,” according to Wolok, so who’s to say they won’t keep it going through the next crisis.