Hans in luck: Founders of BackWerk take over burger chain



Hans im Glück is sold – what customers need to know

Hans in luck wanted to go high – now the founder had to sell the chain. What’s next with the German burger chain?

Burger chain Hans im Glück was sold

It continues with the burger restaurant chain Hans im Glück. A previous co-owner and the founders of the self-service bakery chain Backwerk take over the business.

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  • The burger chain Hans im Glück gets new owners
  • Recently there have been reports of financial problems
  • Hans im Glück is now represented worldwide – even in Singapore there are restaurants from the German chain
  • Now, in luck, Hans is sold – to the founders of BackWerk
  • The 3500 employees can probably keep their jobs

Eating burgers between birch trunks: that’s what German burger chain Hans im Glück known. After days of uncertainty, there is now clarity: Hans im Glück has been sold.

founder Thomas Hirschberger sells its 90 percent share in the burger chain to the previous minority owner GAB for its owner Gerd Buehler, which secured ten percent of the market share for 6.5 million euros in 2018. In addition, the founders of the self-service bakery chain BackWerk, Dirk Schneider and Hans-Christian Limmer, with Hans in luck.

Both parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price and the respective share ratios.

Hans im Glück operates stores all over the world

For a long time Hans was in luck as German model of success, The company is built as a franchise, it has its 81 branches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland run by independent entrepreneurs. High growth rates were recorded annually; last year the chain achieved record results with external sales of 147 million euros – an increase of 22.5 percent compared to the previous year.

And the success story should also be continued abroad. Fortunately, Hans has four branches in Singapore; the most recent was only opened last year. The chain is also represented in Switzerland with three branches, in Austria with a restaurant.

That means selling Hans im Glück for customers

With the sale, it now seems certainty for the customers and 3500 employees to give: it will go on. “The new owners rely on continuity with innovative products and further expansion,” said the company. There will be no change for the employees and business partners through the sale.

The chain wants to stay true to its model of success and continue with one high quality sell cheap fast food chains like McDonald’s or Burger King. Before the sale, it was said that the company was plagued liquidity problems,

The new owners, Schneider and Limmer announced that they wanted to focus on sustainable growth with the expansion strategy. Managing director Jens Hallbauer announced for the coming year 15 new openings on. “Other locations are planned in Basel, Trier and Halle, among others,” said Hallbauer.

The sale was uncertain at the end

“After closely following the growth in the past few years, I will now concentrate fully on my passion to develop new business models,” said Hans-im-Glück founder Thomas Hirschberger in a press release from the company. For Hirschberger, even if he doesn’t say it, it could have been a painful farewell.

After all, according to a report by the “Handelsblatt”, the purchase price after deducting debts was around EUR 26.1 million. However, there would have to be additional high payments, including to three managing directors, so that Hirschberger’s trust company AML Invest could even make a loss in the millions.

Since minority owner Gerd Bühler had a right of first refusal, a potentially more lucrative business with financial investors for Hirschberger was off the table, according to the report.

Hans-im-Glück-founder also founded Sausalitos

For Hirschberger, it is already the second chain that the founder has to sell: in 2014, the entrepreneur separated from his cocktail bar chain Sausalitos, founded in 1994. For him, however, the chapter in Mexican food and drink was not yet over.

Sausalitos accused Hirschberger of poaching executives in 2017 and claimed compensation in the millions. In the end, both sides agreed on a settlement, the founder ceded his minority rights.

Long lawsuit with Peter Pane

For Hirschberger, it shouldn’t be the only litigation. In 2016 there was a split with the partner company Paniceus. Its managing director Patrick Junge quickly created the burger chain Peter Pane from his Hans Glück stores.

The rift had consequences: First Peter Pane sued Hans in luck, then it went the other way and Hans in luck went to court against Peter Pane. In 2017 the two burger chains finally ended their dispute. Peter Pane continued to expand strongly, only last year the chain announced that it wanted to open up to ten new branches per year.

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