Freddy’s expanding, adding seating

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers will be expanding, using a 1,000-square-foot space just south of it. The new space will add seating and allow for an additional food preparation line in the kitchen.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Derby is on a growth track.

The unit, opened seven years ago at 2100 N. Rock Road when the restaurant chain was undergoing its initial expansion, has been well received and has been slated for a $145,000 expansion project.

The work will add seating and some extra touches to provide a better customer experience, said Lexie Pearce, public relations manager for the Wichita-based company.

Some of them, such as the seating, will be visible to customers, but others are not. Among the changes are adding another food preparation line in the kitchen and grill to speed up orders.

“This will make the food process more efficient,” she said.

Pearce said it was time for an update in Derby, which is one of the company’s original and smaller sites.

“We want to give it the same feel as our newer locations and make them all a little more consistent,” she said.

The big change will be removal of a south wall, opening up 1,000 more square feet to the 2,500-square-foot restaurant.

That will add about 20 more seats to the current 70 to 80. The east side of that space will be used for restrooms and the kitchen expansion.

Freddy’s will remain open during the work, as the wall is currently up. The big change will take place some time in the future and literally will happen overnight.

That’s when the wall will be taken down and the new space opened.

James Gardner, a superintendent with Accel Construction LLC, which is handling the project, said it will be a hectic night, but it will make the whole project flow smoothly.

The project is scheduled to take six to eight weeks and should be finished by Nov. 11, said Freddy’s general manager A.J. Edwards.

Edwards said the changes should be especially noticeable at the drive through, greatly speeding up that service.

The inside gets busy, too, especially on Friday nights and during the weekend, so the additional seating will help, he said.

The retro-style chain restaurant serves steakburgers, hot dogs and French fries along with frozen custard.

“It’s been very well received by the community. We thought it was going to do well and it has,” Pearce said. “We enjoy our Derby guests.”

Located in the Derby Marketplace development, Freddy’s was one of the early tenants in that strip center.

The Wichita-based company has 200 locations in 30 states under a mix of franchisee and company ownership. The Derby location, which is company-owned, has 45 employees.

The Derby location joins two other area units, both in east Wichita, with expansions.

Freddy’s was founded in 2002 and started franchising two years later. Officials predict the company, given its growth, can expand to 500 units or more in the future.