The Top Multihyphenate Restaurants That Also Have a Successful Merch Shop

Restaurants are expanding. See how these businesses are increasing revenue and building on customer loyalty with merchandise.
by Maya Rollings Jun 03, 2024 — 4 min read
The Top Multihyphenate Restaurants That Also Have a Successful Merch Shop

About this series

The Essential List of Multihyphenate Businesses

The Essential List of Multihyphenate Businesses

A salon that doubles as a cafe. A restaurant with a successful merch line. Multihyphenate businesses need multiple hyphens to describe all the value they bring to customers’ lives. This series celebrates these wildly creative businesses.

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Restaurants are beloved businesses. They inspire fierce loyalty (Chipotle has over 33 million loyalty subscribers) and even heated debates online (the McDonald’s versus Wendy’s debate exists for a reason). So, it makes sense that restaurants would branch out into the merch world in an effort to increase revenue and allow customers to express their loyalty and represent their favorite businesses all at once. In fact, 34% of restaurateurs shared that they plan to sell merchandise or other non-food products over the next 12 months.

With merchandise becoming a popular option for restaurants looking to diversify their offerings, there are tons of interesting ways to make this new revenue stream unique and successful. Here are a few multihyphenate restaurants that have won the merch game.


Nong’s Khao Man Gai

Location Portand, Oregon Offerings Restaurant, merchandise, catering Connect Website , Instagram Products used

Nong’s Khao Man Gai is focused on doing chicken and rice really, really well, and that’s why it’s the restaurant’s primary dish. After all, khao man gai loosely translates to chicken and rice in Thai. What makes Nong’s chicken and rice special is Nong’s signature sauce, which is sold by the bottle in stores all across the country. "It's another business that's totally different," explained founder Nong Poonsukwattana. In addition to their packaged sauce, they also sell merch and meal kits for customers, so they can have a piece of this Portland favorite wherever they are. In fact, it was encouragement from customers that inspired the idea.

“Customers were suggesting I bottle the sauce, and that combined with my dream to have my products sold in grocery stores [gave me an added push],” said Poonsukwattana. Nong’s Khao Man Gai is such a customer favorite that it was featured on the Netflix food show “Somebody Feed Phil,” where the food and the sauce alike were met with rave reviews. With food this good, it’s unsurprising that supporters near and far want to keep a piece of this business with them.


GOODONYA Organic Eatery

Location Encinitas, CA Offerings Restaurant, wine club, market, online store Connect Website , Instagram Products used

GOODONYA Organic Eatery is an organic restaurant in Encinitas, CA that also sells a line of electrolyte drink mixes and features a wine club and market. Founded over twenty years ago by Kris Buchanan, this multihyphenate business attributes its tenure to evolving and striving to become better. “We have built up trust in our community with the quality of ingredients we give them. What we do in our restaurant really isn’t being done anywhere else,” said Buchanan. "It’s been 24 years, so doing something new has kept us in business."

As proof, this business is not only organic but also 100% non-GMO which is considered rare in the industry. “We look at every single thing we purchase. From the meat to the wine to the oils to the garnish on the plate – it’s organic, wild, heirloom, regenerative real food. We look for the best no matter what,” explained Buchanan. This care extends to its wine club that features wine selected from all over the world from “vineyards that grow in synergy with nature.” Furthermore, almost every single glass has less than one gram of sugar. In other words, this business truly puts the “good” in GOODONYA. 


Broad Street Oyster Co.

Location Malibu, California Offerings Restaurant, events, merchandise Connect Website , Instagram Products used
Broad Street Oyster Co.

Broad Street Oyster Co. is a food truck-turned-restaurant with six locations across Northern and Southern California. This restaurant also sells merch that ranges from tees and hats to stuffed toy dolls of the founder, Christoper Tompkins. “It’s creating a universe and a story and, in some ways, a community because of all of these things within the ecosystem and universe of the food and the restaurant experience,” Tompkins said of Broad Street Oyster Co.’s diversified revenue streams

For this multihyphenate restaurant, diversifying revenue streams is also about leveraging what makes your business unique. Some merchandise showcases menu items as cartoon characters, building on the notion that Broad Street Oyster Co. is truly creating an experience. The brick-and-mortar locations feature designs that are reminiscent of Tompkins’ childhood bedroom, and the food and ambiance are reflections of the business’s journey. “Our business grew and became a larger company than I could have fathomed, and it really all started with just the simple idea of New England–style seafood based in California and having that beachside influence,” he explained. With it explained that way, who wouldn’t be sold?


Grace Meat + Three

Location St. Louis, Missouri Offerings Restaurant, catering, merch Connect Website , Instagram Products used

Grace Meat + Three is a restaurant based in St. Louis, Missouri, that caters and also sells spice sets, meat rubs, seasonings, and other items, including a chicken and waffles shirt (editor's note: I’m already sold). That’s the charm of this multihyphenate business. After all, the first five words you see when you enter their website are, “Welcome home. Welcome to Grace”. That’s how this business strives to make you feel, no matter where or how you discover it. 

Their ultimate vision is to be the “heart of connection, where the smell of fried chicken mingles with the warmth of genuine hospitality.” Executing on this vision (and doing it well) is what ultimately helped make their merch line so popular. “We were surprised that our customers were wanting [to wear] what our team was wearing,” said co-owner Elisa Lewis of their merch line. “We changed some of our merchandise and made more options available because they liked what the team had on [so much],” she added. Their customers' desire to own a few items worn by staff is a testament to their hospitality and the quality of the restaurant overall. 

It also helps that their chicken was voted the best fried chicken in Missouri by the Food Network. With a crown like that, it’s almost too tempting not to try.

Selling merchandise is a popular way to grow revenue and an even better way to appeal to customers. Leaning into what makes your business special and what customers love the most are the key ingredients to this winning recipe. To maximize your offerings and help you sell with purpose, dive into this piece to learn more. 

Maya Rollings
Maya Rollings is an editor at Square where she writes about all things customer experience, from building a solid customer base to leveraging tools and technology that meets them where they are in their journey.

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