Industry News | October 22, 2009

Freshii Ready to Jump the Pond

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Andreas Kotal, owner of Salad Room—Vienna, Austria’s first fast-casual salad concept—entered into a master franchise agreement with Freshii to convert his existing restaurant to Freshii and expand the Freshii brand throughout Eastern Europe.

Kotal is a graduate of the University of Vienna Law School, where he also majored in economics and business administration. Kotal first saw Freshii in Toronto, where he operates Canada’s largest fleet marketing company, CityFlitz.

“I was originally inspired to open Salad Room in part from watching Freshii open in Toronto,” Kotal says. “Salad Room has been received very well by customers in Vienna, Austria and we are proud of the business we built. Recently we have researched and found a tremendous opportunity to expand Salad Room throughout Eastern Europe, but as I continued to travel to Toronto and continued to see Freshii evolve and thrive, I started to wonder how we would compare in the same market.

“Then, when Freshii hired Fransmart for worldwide expansion and seeing what Fransmart has done with other franchise brands, I grew more confident that we would most likely be competing with Freshii at some point. So I decided to approach Freshii with the idea for a partnership. What came of these discussions is that I am now converting my existing Salad Room operation into a Freshii and then master franchising Freshii throughout Eastern Europe and we are indeed proceeding as partners.”

“I was in Europe last week and [was] amazed how little organized competition there is in Europe compared to North America. We can’t wait to start opening new Freshii restaurants throughout Europe,” says Matthew Corrin, CEO of Freshii.

“Freshii gets a request from a prospective franchisee in Europe at least once a week, but so far these have been smaller prospective franchisees,” says Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart. “Now that we are committing the resources to Mr. Kotal’s master franchise we are going to start awarding some of these smaller franchises in key markets to enhance the brand awareness.”