Our Story

YO!  What do you think of when you hear that word?  Rocky? Ben Franklin? The City of Brotherly Love?  You think of Philadelphia, or Philly as it’s more commonly called.  Philly is famous for many cultural icons of yesterday and today.  If you’ve ever been there, you’ll quickly learn that Philadelphians are passionate about a lot of things, however, at the top of that list is food.  Philly is a food town!  Wonderful flavors and offerings surround you at every turn, every neighborhood.  Let’s cut to the chase- there is one iconic food that stands above them all.  If you ask anyone who’s ever lived in or visited the epicurean city what it’s most famous for, and without hesitation, they will tell you it’s the Philly Cheese Steak.

Many have tried to bring that mouth watering delicacy to other parts of the country and most have failed.  Only a true Philadelphian knows that in order to make the perfect cheese steak you need authentic, high quality ingredients.  There is balance of tender, savory beef smothered in melted cheese, all laid out on a fresh baked, Italian roll that is light and airy on the inside and crusty on the outside.  No matter what you prefer to add- be it ketchup, fried onions, hot or sweet peppers or any combination thereof, the basics never change.  This is how you build an authentic, iconic Philly Cheese Steak.

My name is Matt Tanner and I am the founder and CEO of Philly Boyz Cheese Steaks.  I come from a food-centric family!  It’s in our blood.  My late grandfather, Rich Lelii, started some of the best food establishments in the Philadelphia area.  Many live on today because of uncompromised quality and dedication to provide delicious food, earning him generations of loyal customers.  My uncles, Jim and Joe Lelii carry on that tradition today, setting new standards for quality catering in the Philly metro area.  Mike and Lisa Tanner, my parents, took that passion for food, combined it with a laser focused business sense and built a portfolio of highly successful, diverse franchise operations throughout the country. Robert, my brother, is following in their footsteps developing record setting franchise operations based out of South Florida.  Yup, its in our blood.

Just like any family business, be it food or anything else, you learn the ins and outs and tricks of the trade through every day life from an early age.  Some of the best business lessons are learned sharing a meal at the family dinner table.  Don’t get me wrong, starting a business is big challenge under any circumstance, but when you are raised by hardworking, entrepreneurial parents who practiced work ethic, integrity and the courage to take risks in order to better provide for their family and community, you learn quickly that anything is achievable.  Is it easy? No!  But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it is achievable.

Until you have actually rolled up your sleeves and walked the walk, it’s impossible to truly understand the work that goes into starting, maintaining and growing a successful business.  With that being said, I would like to invite you to join me as I embark on this new journey.  Yo, welcome to Philly Boyz!

The first and immediate objective is clear (not to be confused with easy); to take the knowledge I have gained from my family, along with running my own franchise operations (Tropical Smoothie Cafe’ and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels),  and start a new, independent quick service restaurant serving delicious, authentic, quality food in a friendly, sparkling clean, customer focused environment.  Growing up in a family familiar with both the food industry and the franchise model, the second objective is naturally to develop the Philly Boyz model and duplicate it nationwide in the form of successful franchising.

My objective in telling the Philly Boyz story is to shed some light on what it really takes to start from square one and develop an ongoing, growth-based business.  You’ll see the ups, the downs, the good, the bad and the ugly.  We’ll surely face unforeseen obstacles.  I’ll share my thought processes on how I work through them with hopefully, an efficient and cost effective decision making process.  There will be successes and milestones and I invite you to celebrate these along with me.  There is so much involved and, no matter how hard you work, there are still only 24 hours in a day.  So why add telling the Philly Boyz story to my plate?  Because, I have been fortunate having a family that shares the details and lessons of building their very business.  Not everyone has that luxury.  By providing a glimpse into my journey, I hope that it encourages someone else to take that first step and fulfill their dreams of entrepreneurship.

Hungry yet?

Philly Boyz Mission Statement

To provide quality, quick service foods, showcasing the authentic Philadelphia Cheese Steak, through state-of-the-art digital touch-screen ordering and expediting technology that provides customization capabilities for each order.  

The Philly Boyz Difference

The Atmosphere

  1. We provide more than just a place to eat. When you enter a Philly Boyz establishment, you are greeted by a host, your food is made by an experienced, passionate staff and served in a sparkling clean environment.
  2. Philly Boyz is a leader in the quick service food business due to advanced technology enabling a minimum of 5 customers to simultaneously place their orders and customize each item to their liking.
  3. Not only is our ordering system on the leading edge of technology, so is our dine-in experience. Need to charge your device?  Use one of our convenient USB ports available through the dining room.  Want to check the score of the game?  Easily connect to our complimentary Wi-Fi.

The Product

  1. Both of our cheese steak options are made with quality rib-eye beef or all-white meat chicken sliced fresh daily on premises.
  2. All of our made to order sandwich options are served on a freshly baked in-house Milano roll.
  3. The customer can choose from of a wide variety of toppings, all prepared daily from the freshest of available ingredients.