Get Ready America: Your Hunger for Healthier Dining Options is Here

Share Button

FRANCHISING USA COVER STORY  AUGUST 2015

UFood Grill, the award-winning fast-casual franchise where “delicious meets nutritious,” has announced national expansion plans to meet growing consumer demand for healthier eating options by adding 100 new restaurant locations over the next four years.

Purchased by Healthy Acquisitions, Inc. in 2013 and taken out of bankruptcy, UFood Grill is a new company on a big mission. According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association, consumers want more restaurants to offer healthy options but rate the leading chains across the country poorly on the availability of those options. UFood Grill is changing that with a recipe for success that includes a savory customizable menu and an inviting franchise development program.

Headquartered in Boston and led by CEO Salvatore Rincione who is also the senior vice president with Healthy Acquisitions, UFood Grill is positioned to win big where a growing appetite for a new restaurant development already exists. The concept, first established in 2004, has fostered a loyal customer base from coast to coast at popular non-traditional sites including locations at airports, military bases and government buildings.

Next, UFood Grill will expand on a broader scale and deliver what diners continue to seek in growing numbers: food that not only tastes good but also is good for you.

Fresh Food Comes First

Championed by Corporate Executive Chef Keith Seeber, the UFood Grill menu includes chicken, beef, turkey, grilled shrimp and veggie burgers, its famous “Unfries,” steak tips, wraps, bowls, salads and Paninis prepared using natural and organic ingredients, whole grains, light cheeses, and fresh house made dressings.

Meals are low in calories, fat and sodium and made-to-order where nothing is ever fried. And a line of beverages includes real fruit smoothies and specialty teas. Seeber’s and Rincione’s perspective on the better-for-you menu has translated into a healthful approach for fresh food unlike any other menu in the industry. That means UFood Grill is serving up good food, happy customers, and a growing franchise opportunity in peak demand.

Borrowing on Seeber’s previous experience at chains like Bonefish Grill and Rincione’s national history of growing chains like Planet Hollywood, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Red Mango, the executive team looks to fill a new unmet need for the hearts and stomachs of smart consumers.

“We are at the center of an important national movement to bring healthier dining options to a growing customer base,” Rincione says. “People are demanding better food, healthier ingredients and total transparency. While old QSR chains are trying to save their consumer base, shed unfavorable brand identities and catch up, UFood Grill is in

a leadership position to expand what we already do so well.”

Vibrant Restaurant Design

UFood Grill is raising the bar for restaurant-goers by pairing its attractive food with an equally tempting fast-casual restaurant prototype poised for national expansion. To bring the concept to Main Street America, UFood Grill enlisted one of the country’s leading restaurant design firms, Interior Systems, Inc., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., to deliver the new look. From initial design through manufacturing and installation, ISI is known as a one-stop shop for the best interior needs in restaurant, retail and education markets.

The result for UFood Grill is a new logo and a vibrant restaurant design that averages 1,800 square-feet, is flexible enough to accommodate larger or smaller footprints, includes dine-in seating for up to 36 guests and fits the availability of popular inline retail site opportunities across the country.

It marks a strong entry into the fastestgrowing segment of the restaurant industry where fast-casual brands now account for more than $30 billion of annual revenues – nearly double the growth of any other category in the sector.

UFood Grill plans to open one of the first locations in the greater Boston area by early 2016 in close proximity to corporate headquarters to fulfill site visits for the growing list of franchise prospects attending UFood Grill Discovery Days.

Lean and Mean Incentives

Supporting growth expectations, UFood Grill has rolled out its new “Lean and Mean Deal” – a franchise incentive program that will offer deep discounts for a limited time on the initial franchise fee for multi-unit development agreements of three or more locations.

“UFood Grill is known for its healthy menu and delicious food, and we plan to match that reputation with healthy savings for rapid growth among our franchisees,” says Bob DiBartolomeo, vice president of franchise development.

The “Lean and Mean” incentive program features a $35K franchise fee for the first location and a $10K franchise fee per additional restaurant on agreements of three or more traditional restaurants. The company is welcoming experienced restaurant operators and multi-unit franchise investors for franchise development.

More information about UFood Grill franchise opportunities is available at http://www.ufoodgrill.com/own-a-grill