Industry News | April 17, 2008

First Franchised Einstein Bros. Opens

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Local entrepreneur Mohammed Chaudhry, owner of MC Squared Investments, LLC, made history today with the opening of the Einstein Bros. Bagels franchised location at 1661 Riverside Avenue. The new restaurant is the first franchise location under the Einstein Bros.' franchising program for Einstein Bros.' parent company, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: BAGL - News).

Today's grand opening also marks the first of 10 locations that MC Squared Investments, LLC, plans to open throughout the Jacksonville area and is part of Chaudhry's 21-store agreement to open Einstein Bros. franchise locations throughout northern Florida. The franchised restaurant officially opened for business in March.

"We are thrilled to offer a restaurant that we believe will impress new and longtime Einstein Bros.' fans with distinctive menu options and a vibrant dining environment," says Chaudhry. "I want to offer the best in quick casual bakery fare to Jacksonville residents through a brand that has built a great name and strong popularity in cities throughout the country and in other parts of Florida."

To commemorate the Jacksonville grand opening, guests will receive a free cup of Darn Good Coffee and will be able to try other grand opening menu specials on April 18 and 19. Available for take-out, dine-in, and catering, Einstein Bros.' innovative menu features fresh breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads and premium coffees served all day. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches are available on a variety of freshly baked breads, rolls or wraps, and, of course, a huge selection of tasty, freshly baked bagels.

"When guests sit down to eat Einstein Bros.' food, we want them to taste our innovation. We want them to experience the 'wow factor' with each bite," says Paul Carolan, senior vice president of franchising and licensing. "Our new location in Jacksonville fits in perfectly with our goal to be at the leading edge of what casual bakery guests want."

In addition to MC Squared Investments, LLC's 21-unit deal, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group has inked two multiunit franchise agreements scheduled to open a total of eight locations in the Augusta, Georgia; Aiken, South Carolina; and Northwest Arkansas markets beginning in late-2008, into 2009 and beyond.

"We are pleased with the growth of our franchising program for the brand," says Paul Murphy, CEO of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. "Our initial offering of the brand targeted the southeast United States beginning last year. Due to the response and interest, we decided to open select markets throughout the rest of the country."