Handing over the reins.
“I completed an apprenticeship as an assistant tax consultant”, explains Kim Hagebaum, today’s Extrawurst CEO. “But looking out of the window of my office job back then, I only thought: I have to get out of here”. No sooner said than done. Kim Hagebaum quits and in 2004 he re-enters the sausage business. But does he get extra treatment being the founder’s son? Not a sausage! Before taking over the executive post, he must put on an apron, take the barbecue fork in hand and work behind the counter. In the evenings and at the weekends he goes to school again, studying business studies.
His studies give him new impetus, and Kim eagerly puts his new ideas into practice. The ordinary sausage posts turn into a brand. “One evening we met as a family to find a new name”, Kim Hagebaum remembers. “ʻExtrawurstʼ made us all grin.” (In German, Extrawurst has a double meaning: extra sausage, but also special treatment). Nowadays the name adorns all stands of the sausage specialist from Lüdenscheid. But much more is happening: the overall image becomes standardized, the marketing becomes more professional, and new ideas are put to the test. They launch campaigns with Italian sausages and curry-arrabiata or Christmas sausages with cinnamon. One day Kim Hagebaum even puts on a giant piglet custom to call clientr’s attention to discounts. But in 2006 he comes up with the truly pioneering idea.
Again and again, employees approach the Hagebaums, asking for advice to found their own snack stands. Kim Hagebaum does not hesitate too long and develops the Extrawurst franchise system. From this point on there is no holding back. New stands open. Nevertheless, the focus is still on quality over quantity. Extrawurst deliberately decides to not inaugurate more than five new stands per year. “Of course we could tackle 20 outlets per year. And with the right partners, we are disposed to do so”, the CEO explains. “But we do not rush things. Honest quality and sustainability are more important to us than fast growth.”