Industry News | July 14, 2010

Einstein Expansion Heads to Springfield, Missouri

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Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. announced the signing of a multiunit development deal with RT Development LLC of Springfield, Missouri, to franchise Einstein Bros. Bagels restaurants and continue to expand the brand.

RT Development LLC’s franchise agreement continues Einstein Bros. Bagels’ strategy of expansion through increased franchising with growth-minded business partners who are attracted to the Einstein Bros. business model.

Based in Springfield, RT Development LLC plans to open four Einstein Bros. Bagels restaurants within the next four years throughout Greene and Christian Counties. The first location is scheduled to open July 13 at the heavily trafficked intersection of Lakota Street and National Avenue (1933 S. National Avenue), located across the street from St. John’s Regional Health Center. In addition to offering the brand’s freshly baked bagels, freshly prepared breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and beverage options, the new restaurant will serve coffee and espresso from its barista station.

“The craveable food and comfortable atmosphere of the Einstein Bros. Bagels brand fit in well with the neighborhood,” says Rita Baron, co-owner of RT Development LLC. “I look forward to bringing its neighborhood-friendly atmosphere and combination of great tasting fresh menu items made from high-quality ingredients and distinctive quick-casual service to local residents and the nearby workforce.”

A longtime Springfield resident, Baron recently expanded her business interests to include restaurant ownership with Einstein Bros. Bagels after a successful career in architectural design. Most recently she served as principal of Baron Design & Associates LLC, an established architectural firm in Springfield.

Baron co-owns the restaurant with business partner Terry Reynolds, who is a 50-year native of Springfield and manages commercial property and real estate throughout the area. Baron and Reynolds’ managing partners are Jay Hickman and Paul Sundy, who co-own a pair of Parlor Eighty-Eight restaurant lounges with Baron, bringing several years of restaurant ownership experience to the business.

As the franchised restaurants open their doors, local Springfield area communities will be able to fill their breakfast, lunch, and snack cravings with Einstein Bros. Bagels’ menu, featuring freshly baked bagels and shmear varieties, made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches, Darn Good Coffee and specialty coffee drinks, hearty soups, fresh innovative salads, baked goods, and desserts.

“This new franchise agreement confirms that demand for our brand is building,” says Jeff O’Neill, CEO of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. “We want to be the fastest growing fast-casual restaurant chain in America, and we are accelerating growth by increasing our focus on expansion through franchising.”

As of June 2010, the company had signed 19 multi-unit franchise agreements, which, when fully developed, represent a total of 81 additional stores. The first two franchise locations opened in Jacksonville, Florida, and Rogers, Arkansas, in 2008. This year, plans call for 12–16 additional franchise locations to open.

“RT Development LLC are very astute entrepreneurs,” O’Neill says. “Executing our aggressive growth phase with franchise partners of their caliber is a sign that we are attracting high-quality investors. We are very excited to have them join the Einstein Bros. Bagels family.”