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Emerging Restaurant Chains
Standout Store: Melthouse Bistro
Milwaukee-based Melthouse Bistro takes the classic grilled cheese to a whole new level.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Old-school diner chain uses frozen treats and premium burgers to spur award-winning growth.
One to Watch: Smiling Moose Deli
Midwest sandwich chain plans to track its way across the country with slow and steady expansion.
One to Watch: Cheba Hut Toasted Subs
Sandwich brand may have tongue-in-cheek references, but it’s got serious growth plans.
One to Watch: Cheeseboy
Boston-based concept hopes to take comfort-food staple across the U.S.
One to Watch: Tin Drum AsiaCafé
Atlanta-based brand hopes to be one of the first big players in the thriving Asian fast-casual segment.
One to Watch: Bullritos
Texas-based brand offers its own take on the Mexican fast-casual category.
One to Watch: Zoës Kitchen
Fast-casual concept focuses on healthy options with a Mediterranean twist.
One to Watch: Milio’s Sandwiches
A combination of “legendary” customer service and top-notch products help this sandwich joint stand out in the crowd.
One to Watch: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Innovative flavors and fresh ingredients help Ohio-based concept stand out in the crowded dessert segment.
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Ones to Watch