The Jalili family of owners behind Black Sheep Burgers and Shakes plan to open their first drive-thru concept tomorrow at 2420 E. Sunshine St. near Lone Pine Avenue. Plans to expand outside of Springfield also are in the works, co-owner Mike Jalili said this morning.
Brothers Mike and Billy Jalili and their wives leased a vacant Sonic Drive-In in April and remodeled the property, which included the reconstruction of its entire kitchen, Mike Jalili said. The new restaurant is called Black Sheep A.S.A.P.
“We’ve learned to work a drive-thru,” he said. “It’s a totally different animal than what I’m used to.”
At the Sunshine Street property, the Jalilis also added another 700 square feet to accommodate about 50 dine-in seats. The indoor seating allows customers to order alcoholic shakes and draft beers, he said.
The family hired about 50 employees for Black Sheep A.S.A.P., Jalili said, noting the restaurant sells an exclusive blend of meat cuts from New Jersey-based Schweid & Sons – made with hormone- and steroid-free beef.
More Black Sheep restaurants also are being planned.
“I am in the process of building my team that are able to open stores without me actually being there as much,” Jalili said. “So once I create that team properly, and we learn a lot through opening this one, then it will be easier.”
If the newest Black Sheep is successful, the chain likely would target Kansas City and St. Louis, Jalili said, followed by franchise opportunities. The group already has turned down offers from prospective franchisees, he said.
“Before we plan to franchise, we want to make sure that we are 100 percent ready. It’s not about how many franchises you can have, it’s how many franchises can succeed and do their job correctly and properly,” Jalili said. “I want to make sure we do it right. It needs to be a balance between a business and a passion.”
The team of restaurateurs who employ 450 people among their seven business properties are actively opening another business.
Chops steakhouse is scheduled to open next September in Galloway Creek, a $7.7 million, 46,372-square-foot mixed-use development.
The Jalili family also operates the Black Sheep restaurants downtown and in Chesterfield Village, as well as Flame Steakhouse, Touch restaurant and nightclubs Midnight Rodeo and Zan.
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