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Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks Is Expanding To Florida, Signs 10-Store Deal With Former PepsiCo President

Big Dave's Cheesesteaks - Daniel Hayes

The taste of Philly is on its way to the sunny shores of Florida as Big Dave's Cheesesteaks announced a new expansion plan in partnership with former Pepsi president, Derek Lewis. The franchise deal, unveiled at a special event at Breakfast at Barneys in Atlanta, promises to bring Philly's cheesesteaks to multiple locations across the state.

The story of this expansion began in 2020, when Derrick Hayes, the founder of the cheesesteak brand, found himself at an assembly seeking capital for his business. It was there that he crossed paths with Lewis.

"When this man said Pepsi out his mouth, I could not shut up because I'm from Philly. And that's what we drink," exclaimed Hayes, recalling the moment he seized the opportunity to connect with Lewis. "I said, 'Yo, I'm from West Philly, and nobody in the South sells more Pepsi than me. Why I don't got a Pepsi deal. And two days later, Derek Lewis was at my downtown location."

Sharing the excitement, Lewis stated, "We're here tonight to really kick off what's going to be a partnership. When you announced the franchising deal, I was very intrigued by that, I was very excited about that for one because now you get a chance to put all of your hard work and scale." As part of the deal, Lewis has committed to signing up for a minimum of 10 locations in southern Florida.

Hayes, reflecting on his journey, shared, "I came from the Ghe-tto. Like, when you bought your house in the '70s and you paid $7,500, ghetto. When your neighbor got rats and roaches, and you got em too, ghetto. Well, let me tell y'all something, my kids live in a country club. For me, I already felt like I broke the curse."

The expansion to Florida not only represents a major achievement for Hayes but also serves as a testament to his perseverance in building generational wealth. With the support of Lewis, Big Dave's Cheesesteaks is well on its way to becoming a household name in the Sunshine State, bringing a taste of Philadelphia to a new audience.

Photo Credit: Brian Javon

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