Growth is in Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar’s DNA



Photo by Daniel Smyth

Bob Dames, Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar founder says, “We wanted to be a national brand from the start. We made policies very early to make growth that was more easily replicable for future restaurants.”

“Growth has always been at the forefront for us. We mean it,” says Ed Biery, a former general manager who is now Chief Operations Officer of Flipdaddy’s Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar. “The Pavilion is filled with national brands and Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar fits that mold.”

The Newport Pavilion location indicates the maturity the business has gained over the last five years. The building is their first freestanding restaurant that has been built from the ground up, with a bigger kitchen and a beautiful patio with a fire pit; it is also their largest restaurant yet, totaling 6,000 square feet. “We’re looking for this to be the vehicle for our growth – the prototype for future restaurants,” Dames says.

With each new restaurant, Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar learns what is necessary and what will work best at its next location. “The process always takes time,” Dames says, “but we always need to be ready to grow, to look ahead.” That’s why Dames has already begun scouting additional locations that fit Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar market mission. Those cities include Louisville, Lexington, Nashville and Naples, Florida.

In addition to the focus on strategic growth that is built into the business, there are two obvious factors that explain Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar success – products and people. “Beer and burgers are growth products,” says Dames. “They are equally driving forces for our growth.” But beer and burgers don’t automatically create success. Not every burger joint succeeds. Even popular franchises that sell burgers or beer, or both, fail.

For Dames, the secret for sustainable, healthy growth is keeping the people in the organization motivated to grow. People bring out the passion in Dames and Biery, who says that if you motivate people, people will grow the business. “One of our philosophies is ‘associates first’ and this is vital to the business,” says Biery. “A happy associate makes for a happy guest.” Dames says the business enjoys taking chances on people, allowing those with less experience to prove themselves at each level of the company and have the opportunity to gain ownership with the business as well.

This ownership is real, not an unfulfilled promise from the executives. Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar business plan does not include dangling bonus checks in front of its employees in order to motivate them to work harder. Instead, associates receive regular, tangible rewards as they mature with the business. “Our focus is really on achievable bonuses,” says Biery. Providing ownership for key employees creates a culture of hard work and passion that is crucial to the sustainable growth of Flipdaddy’s.

Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar is more than great craft beer and tasty burgers; it’s an example of a rapidly growing organization that understands that people matter, not just for financial growth, but also for fulfilled employees. “We want to be successful,” Dames says, “but the biggest kick I get out of doing this is watching people benefit from being part of the company and how it affects their lives professionally and personally. It’s been a cool thing to be a part of.”