Ford’s garage took a big risk, including iconic Ford branding, but it paid off

Ford is one of the most recognizable brands in America. So when a group of Florida business owners decided to include the name and logo on their restaurant, it was a big risk. Fortunately it worked out for them. And the restaurant now has several locations in Florida and Michigan, with officially licensed Ford gear.

Learn about the journey behind Ford’s Garage in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What does the company do?

Runs burger and beer restaurants across the country.

President Steve Schlemon told Small Business Trends: “Burgers are the main draw, black angus beef (and a vegetarian option) paired with all-natural aged cheeses, fresh toppings, and sauces on artisan sandwiches with the Ford’s Garage logo. The restaurants are also specializing in popular American comfort food options such as homemade meatloaf, chicken wings and tenders, onion rings and famous macaroni and cheese.Lighter fare such as fresh salads, grilled chicken and various seafood are also available.”

Business niche

Offers vintage style and iconic branding.

Schlemon says, “Ford’s Garage is a vintage garage and prohibition era restaurant chain, and the first and only restaurant to receive rights to Ford’s iconic blue-oval logo, as well as other brand images of the auto giant.”

How the company started

Inspired by the car manufacturer.

Schlemon explains, “It all started when four entrepreneurs came together in 2012 to open the very first Ford’s Garage near Henry Ford’s winter home in Fort Myers, Florida, with no ties to the automaker. When the concept caught the attention of the automaker in 2014, the restaurant group seized the opportunity to build the brand together and signed a licensing agreement in 2016. -oval logo, as well as other brand images of the auto giant, including archived historic photos, images of vehicles and actual Model Ts and Model As.”

Biggest win

Signing of a license agreement with Ford.

Schlemon added: “It became the first and only restaurant to use the iconic blue-oval logo, as well as other brand images of the automotive giant.”

Biggest Risk

Using the name Ford Motor Company without asking.

Schlemon says: “Once the automaker found out, we ended up with a licensing deal. But that could have been a different story.”

Lesson learned

Be open to new markets and opportunities.

Schlemon explains: “Ford’s Garage interacts with such a wide variety of people in different geographies and ages. We see the opportunity to grow into new markets and only wish we had done it sooner.”

How would they spend an extra $100,000?

Support the team.

Schlemon added, “Any additional investment would definitely be in those areas so we can continue to deliver the experience guests know us for.”

Unique decor

Tons of car memorabilia.

Schlemon says, “Sculpted to look like a 1920s gas station, each restaurant is filled to the brim with Ford memorabilia, including vintage vehicles, fixtures, and gas pumps, as well as a model car hanging above the center bar.”

Image: Ford’s Garage


This post Ford’s garage took a big risk, including iconic Ford branding, but it paid off was original published at “https://smallbiztrends.com/2022/04/fords-garage-adopts-iconic-ford-branding.html”

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