Sauce on the Side has earned the reputation for indulgent food and an authentic, hospitable approach to service. Our restaurants bring legendary food to life – fresh, hand-crafted calzones, salads and desserts. Our restaurants prepare only the best ingredients daily, just like when we started.
Still leading the brand into the future, the founders of Sauce on the Side take pride in each detail of the business – sourcing high quality meats, cheeses and produce, creating a best in class training program to deliver food and service that is superior to the industry, and focusing on continual improvement.
Created as a business that could accelerate through times that challenge most restaurants, such as inclement weather and consumer shifts to off-premise and digital, Sauce on the Side has proven the business model to perform under those pressures. Our guests are able to experience our brand on their terms, since our restaurants offer Delivery (in-house & third-party), Takeout, Curbside Pickup and Fun, Modern restaurants to dine in.
“Sauce on the Side is one of the best things that has happened to St. Louis.”
– Kristen S. (Yelp Reviewer)
“Delish. Great food, great service, clean, friendly wait staff, not expensive”
– Jill Z. (Yelp Reviewer)
“This is my new spot. Amazing decor with amazing food, what more could you ask for?”
– Dylan H. (Yelp Reviewer)
“One of my all time favorite restaurants. The calzones are to die for and I love the environment.”
– Jake F. (Yelp Reviewer)
Sauce on the Side may be quick, and take food and drink orders at the counter, but we are not the standard fast-casual restaurant. After ordering food and drinks, we invite our guests to enjoy a hospitable, full-service experience – food, refills and additional service is provided at the table without the guest having to get up from their seat.
Our food is award-winning, craveable and comforting. We make our own dough, prepare our sauces and dressings in-house, chop fresh produce and source high quality meats and cheeses. All of this work, allows us to deliver food to be proud of.
Why We’re Unique
In the fast-casual world, there is a sea of sameness. Sauce on the Side is committed to delivering more – to our guests, our team members and our Franchisees. To shatter expectations, we take a different approach.
Fresh, High Quality Ingredients
Our dough is masterfully crafted by our restaurant teams daily, to create the perfect golden-brown calzone that has an extraordinary pillow soft texture in each bite. By combining the brand’s years of dough expertise with the right equipment, and excellent team member training programs, our restaurants deliver great dough every day.
We don’t cut corners on quality. We source and prepare the highest quality meats, cheeses and produce used in our calzones, salads, dressings and sauces.
We don’t have freezers and the care and pride placed in each ingredient distinguishes our food from the pack.
To have the right to say that we make all of our food, sauces and dressings in-house means as much to us as it does to our guests.
Authentic, Hospitable and Service Obsessed
We’re different. We’re hip and fun. We emphasize hospitality and are service obsessed.
Our service model is a cut above, just like our food: guests order at the counter then sit back and relax.
We cut out the wait times: No delays to be greeted, searching for a server and looking around to get the check and pay.
We want our guests to be taken care of, so we deliver the food to the table, refill glasses and box the leftovers (yep, our Calzones are that big).
Our mission is to Feed the Community, Provide the Highest Quality Food and Service and Create an Atmosphere of Fun and Fairness, and that guides us to bring our best every single day. Our guests deserve and expect it.
Positioned for the Future
The guest of the future orders digitally, has shifted to increased off-premise occasions, desires convenience and requires value for money.
Digital: We have grown owned digital transactions to 39% of sales (up 40% in 2021 vs. 2020).
Off-Premise & Convenience: With off-premise dining accounting for over 40% of revenue in 2019, the challenges of 2020 provided our brand the opportunity to seize additional market share. We added third-party delivery in addition to our own in-house delivery and further grew convenience with curbside pickup. In 2021, the system averaged 65% of revenue from off-premise channels.
Value for Money: Large portions and fair prices, coupled with our exceptional food and service will continue to drive a high perception of value. We don’t discount to grow revenue, we present a value proposition that is unrivaled, and our guests leaving with to-go boxes would agree.
Great Partnerships Are Our Foundation
As the Sauce on the Side brand continues to grow into new markets, with the partnership and investment of new and existing Franchisees, we are further emboldened by our belief that great partnerships are our foundation.
We believe that all relationships, with our teams, vendors and Franchisees should be transparent and honest, and that mutual respect and accountability (in both directions), is critical to our continued success.
We’re currently partnering with Franchisees who:
Possess an entrepreneurial spirit, high energy and grit.
Believe in community and the power of relationships with people (their team, guests and vendor partners).
Have restaurant experience (or an undying passion for the business and a partner with relevant experience).
Seek the Freedom of running their own business, with the discipline to follow the framework of an established operating model.
Have the financial resources to build and maintain a restaurant, and re-invest to fuel continued growth.
Have proven leadership experience and the ability to build strong teams.
Enthusiasm for the Sauce on the Side brand and our commitment to “Feed the Community, Provide the highest quality food and service and Create an atmosphere of fun and fairness”.
Matching the Right Partner with the Right Opportunity:
For those chasing their dream of building wealth and working for themselves, and have the passion to grow their seed money in to a new future.
Experienced restaurant operators and entities seeking another concept and interested in an Area Development Agreement to grow the brand across one, or multiple geographic territories.
Existing restaurant owners with a desire to convert their current concept to a Sauce on the Side restaurant.
Recognized by QSR Magazine
40/40 List for 2022: America’s Hottest Startup Fast Casuals
Sauce on the Side was named to QSR’s magazine’s 40/40 List for 2022, recognizing it as one of the country’s hottest startup fast casuals. This year’s concepts not only weathered another pandemic year, they emerged stronger on the other side.
“2021 was perhaps even more dynamic than 2020, in terms of how it shaped the future of fast casual,” QSR editor Danny Klein says. “While the category had a steep hill to climb at COVID’s onset, it didn’t take long for innovative and forward-thinking brands to deliver the experience, technology, and product consumers wanted. What’s left is perhaps the most resilient group on record, and one we believe will thrive for years to come.”
Recognized by Travel Channel’s Food Paradise:
“Cheesiest Restaurant in America”
(Season 2, Episode 16)
Average Unit Volume (2022)
Increased 12% YoY
Top Performing Units* Average Unit Volume (2022)
*Top Quartile and Second Quartile as illustrated in the FDD
Average EBITDA % (2022)*
*Adjusted EBITDA for affiliate-owned locations only. Adjustments include adding certain expenses that our affiliates did not experience that a typical franchised outlet would experience. See FDD for full details.
Total Initial Investment
5% of gross revenue
1% of gross revenue
Our Available Markets
Submit Franchise Inquiry
Submit Franchise Application
Evaluate the Opportunity
Review Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
Sign and Return the FDD Receipt
Meet the Leadership Team
Discovery Day in St. Louis
Discuss Territory of Interest
Submit Business Plan
Join the Sauce on the Side Family
Complete Franchise Agreements and/or Development Agreement
Secure a Restaurant Location
Complete Initial Training
Build and Open a Sauce on the Side restaurant
- Site Selection & Approval
- Restaurant Design
- Initial Training (5 Weeks)
- Pre-Opening Timeline
- Grand Opening Execution
- Comprehensive Operations Manual
- Restaurant Operations Reviews
- Dedicated Field Support
- Quarterly Business Reviews
- Equipment, Product and Procedure Innovation
- Weekly Performance Updates
- Online Learning Management System
- Certified Training Restaurant Locations
- Management Training Program
- Role Specific Training Programs
- Pre-opening Marketing Plan
- Grand Opening Marketing Support
- Public Relations Support
- Monthly LTO Calendar/Activation
- Local Store Marketing Support
- Monthly Marketing Updates
- Cloud-based tech stack, including Point of Sale
- Food Cost and Labor Management systems (Prime Costs)
- P&L Reviews/Benchmarking
- Quarterly Business Reviews
Start the conversation.
We expect our Franchise partners to be hands-on operators with an entrepreneurial background and strong business relationships in their communities. Financial investors are required to have an Operating Partner identified prior to signing a Franchise Agreement.
This information is not intended as an offer to sell a franchise. The offer of a franchise can only be made through the delivery of a franchise disclosure document (FDD). Certain states require that we register a franchise disclosure document in those states. Sauce on the Side will not offer you a franchise until we have complied with the disclosure and registration requirements in your state.