Fat Shack came into being through Tom Armenti’s hustling nature. While in college, Armenti realized the neighborhood’s lack of late-night food options. With only $ 5,000 to his name, Armenti struck up a deal with a local bagel shop owner to allow him to use the facilities at night. Thus, Fat Shack was conceived, a restaurant with a loud identity that continues to attract people.
As is evident from its name, Fat Shack is drastically different from the restaurants that tend to follow the modern trend of healthy meals, keeping in mind the rise of the health-conscious consumer. Fat Shack taps into people’s basic instincts and provides decadent food filled with all the universally loved food deemed unhealthy. While a Kale Salad may be the right option, Fat Shack provides the tempting opportunity to eat a sandwich filled with jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, and cheesesteak. Fat Shack has an unapologetic approach to food and invites people to indulge every once in a while. Besides the food, the main attractive feature of the eatery is that it’s open till 4 AM.
While it may seem a risk in the evolving culinary market, Fat Shack takes food back to the basics and focuses on the pure enjoyment that indulging can provide. Its high-calorie count may not be for everyone, but Fat Shack continues to thrive as a business, clearly showing its place in the market. The restaurant has 28 locations across the United States, making it a true entrepreneurial success story.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Tom Armenti and Kevin Gabauer entered their Shark Tank Pitch in plain white aprons and chef hats. The Sharks were intrigued as they whipped out a plate of kale salad and started talking about its health benefits. The duo then completely switched up their pitch by dumping the kale salad in the bin and taking their aprons off to reveal Fat Shack shirts. This move entertained the Sharks, who were completely invested in the pitch. The entrepreneurs asked for $250,000 for 7.5% equity in their business.
Armenti narrated the restaurant’s origins from a bagel shop which impressed the Sharks. They were hooked by the business’s tenacity and how it managed to go to a multi-location operation from a venture started with just $5,000.
Armenti further upped the Ante by demonstrating the making of one of his restaurant’s famous sandwiches in front of the Sharks. He explained that the premise of their eatery is to combine everyone’s favorite foods into a single meal. The Sharks watched on with aas Armenti made a sandwich consisting of cheesesteak, onion rings, French fries, mozzarella sticks, and jalapeno poppers. The rebellious and unapologetic nature of the menu intrigued the Sharks as Herjavec asked if he could taste the food.
The duo handed out samples, and despite some reservations about calories at first, all the Sharks agreed that the sandwiches were excellent in taste. After the taste test, the Sharks began grilling Armenti about his business’ financial well-being.
Gabauer told the Sharks that the restaurant had made $22 million in revenue last year, which shocked the Sharks. Mark Cuban wanted to know about the franchising model, and Armenti revealed that a lot his franchisees were people who used to work for him. There was a detailed back and forth between the Sharks and Armenti, and they were told that even the worst performing location of the business was turning in a profit. The Sharks pondered whether the margins were enough to recoup their money.
Lori Greiner was the first to pull out of negotiations as she believed she would be unable to make an offer better than all the interested Sharks. Kevin O’Leary made an offer of $250,000 for 25%. John Daymond followed suit and made an identical offer.
Herjavec declared that it would be senseless for the duo to give up 25% of their business. Therefore he made an offer of $250,000 for 17%. Cuban had not pulled out. However, he said that the health aspect was giving him pause. All his other culinary ventures focused on health, which was drastically different. The duo coxed him by saying that he could diversify his portfolio. Cuban also made an offer of $250,000 for 17%. At this, Daymond and O’Leary both revised their offers to 17%.
The entrepreneurs had their pick of Sharks and contemplated their options for a moment. They asked Cuban if he would be willing to take 15% equity. Cuban agreed, and the three of them shook hands to seal the deal.
Our Review of Fat Shack
Fat Shack is an acquired taste and clearly not for the weak of heart. One could argue that the restaurant is promoting negative habits. However, Amarenti himself said that the food he makes is more for cheat meals rather than eating every day. The menu is unique and provides a gluttonous escape many people enjoy. However, the eatery also has undeniable negative aspects. This makes it a pretty polarizing business.
Pros of Fat Shack
- Reasonably priced menu
- The consensus on the food’s taste is overwhelmingly positive
- Open till 4 AM
- Locations across the United States
- Unique sandwiches filled with popular snacks
Cons of Fat Shack
- Can cause or exacerbate health conditions such as hypertension and obesity
- Prices are not uniform across locations
Who Is It For?
Fat Shack aspires to be a hangout place for those late-night adventures. Therefore, its target audience is college students and young people. It is also an excellent spot for foodies seeking to indulge in their cravings. Even people looking to bulk for aesthetic or health purposes can benefit from Fat Shack.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Fat Shack provides a unique amalgamation of food considered a guilty pleasure and universal favorite. It combines all the fast food staples into a giant monster sandwich, and there is no direct replacement for it in the fast food scene.
Fat Shack’s accelerated success since its Shark Tank appearance shows that there is indeed a market for satisfying your cravings in the most explosive way. Fat Shack does not hide away from its food’s fat content or calorie count; it embraces it, which makes it a refreshing change from fast food outlets that trick their customers into thinking what they’re consuming is part of a balanced diet.