Business

Beloved CEO who escaped jail time expands his famed cheesesteaks to first out-of-state location

Derrick Hayes is the founder of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, one of the fastest-growing businesses in Atlanta, Georgia, that makes cheesesteaks. The West Philadephia native named the restaurant after his father to honor him after he passed away. Honoring his father was the least he could do for making him who he is today.

Hayes however learned how to cook by spending time in the kitchen with his grandfather growing up as a kid. He subsequently learned how to prepare dishes and create spices on his own, culminating in his undying love for the food industry.

However, it was not until he moved to Atlanta and tried the city’s version of a Philly cheesesteak that he knew the path to take to “bring that real deal to Atlanta.”

Since then, locals and scores of celebrities have been to his restaurant’s locations. Seven years ago, rapper and actress Eve visited Hayes’ 700-square-foot Shell gas station location to enjoy his cheesesteak while filming a project in Atlanta. The restaurant became a center of attraction after she posted a picture of the sandwich on social media.

In 2023, the company pivoted to a franchise model in a bid to further capitalize on its success. Hayes wants to open 100 franchise locations by the end of 2025 and he has begun accepting official applications to purchase a Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks franchise. According to him, franchising is something that has always been part of his vision and the time was now rife.

Data from the International Franchise Association shows that only 8% of franchise owners are Black. What is more, the data also shows that black franchisees have revenues 220% higher than independent Black-owned businesses on average.

Hayes said he is exploring the franchisee model to help black entrepreneurs escape hurdles, including those who do not have a college degree or lack the experience to follow their dreams of owning a business.

Ten restaurants are set to form across central Florida as former PepsiCo executive Derek Lewis signed a franchise agreement with Hayes in January 2024.

Now the brand is celebrating its first out-of-state location in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Hayes recently held a grand opening for the community to try his famed cheesesteaks.

“From a humble gas station start to expanding across state lines, the journey of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks has been nothing short of extraordinary,” Hayes said in a news release. “As we open our first out-of-state location in Queen City, I’m filled with a sense of disbelief and immense pride. This milestone is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief that has propelled us forward. The road ahead is paved with endless possibilities, and I’m excited to continue writing the next chapter of our story.”

City residents will gain 30 jobs as Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks opens. On May 11, about 500 people attended the new location’s grand opening to celebrate the business.

Hayes did not have a rosy upbringing. He was raised in an impoverished neighborhood and found himself in a life of crime to provide for himself. He was arrested for selling drugs and appeared in court. However, his case was dismissed because the detective who intended to testify against him at his trial did not show up. Hayes also attributes this to his sister’s continuous prayers for him.

Abu Mubarik

Abu Mubarik is a journalist with years of experience in digital media. He loves football and tennis.

Recent Posts

Couple who got engaged at Kem’s concert got a surprise performance from the R&B star at their wedding

Kim Lamont Owens, also known as Kem, surprised a couple by honoring his pledge to…

13 hours ago

After almost 17 years behind bars, this Georgia man is now a school principal

Chris Willars was incarcerated for 16 years and 11 months. He now serves as principal…

14 hours ago

How this doctor invented the Band-Aid for nosebleed emergencies: ‘We didn’t have anything to give patients’

Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne founded a medical device called NasaClip after her residency in Washington, D.C.…

14 hours ago

Africa’s richest man Dangote says International Oil Companies are frustrating his refinery

The Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, has accused…

17 hours ago

Meet the NBA Hall of Famer who made millions but became a school crossing guard earning just $14K a year

Meet Adrian Dantley, he is a former NBA player who became a six-time NBA All-Star…

17 hours ago

In just 3 days, teen crochets gown previously seen on Zendaya for prom

For all the right reasons, Sarah Akinbuwa has become quite popular. For about sixty dollars,…

19 hours ago

50 Cent says his X account and website were compromised, culprit made $3M in 30 mins

Rapper 50 Cent has reported that his social media account and website were hacked, and…

19 hours ago

Meghan Markle could make millions from this product she is about to launch: report

Meghan Markle is set to uncork a new chapter in her business journey with a…

21 hours ago

Footage shows Amazon worker defending female coworker from would-be carjacker

A New York Amazon delivery driver was spotted beating a man who attacked his female…

21 hours ago

Charlotte teacher charged after alleged inappropriate relationship with 18-year-old student

Authorities in Charlotte have brought charges against a 28-year-old female high school teacher who allegedly…

21 hours ago

Woman confesses to trying to poison her veterinarian husband with his own supply of animal drugs

A 51-year-old Wisconsin woman is facing twelve and a half years in prison after she…

22 hours ago

Sha’Carri Richardson finally heads to Olympics after stumbling with untied shoe

Sha'Carri Richardson is heading to the Olympics in Paris for the first time in her…

22 hours ago

Ghana’s Dede Ayite is now the first Black woman to win a Tony Award for best costume design of a play

At the 2024 Tony Awards, Ghanaian designer Dede Ayite became the first Black woman to…

3 days ago

This retired Atlanta man is behind a mobile laundry bus for the homeless

Nicky Crawford runs a mobile laundry bus that takes care of Atlanta’s growing homeless population.…

4 days ago

Childhood friends celebrate epic law school graduation: ‘My sister since 2002’

Ashlee M. Davis and Tianna Williams have been great friends for more than twenty years…

4 days ago