Industry News | February 1, 2006

O’Naturals Offers Franchising Opportunities

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O’Naturals, an all natural and organic fast-casual restaurant that has benefited from the growing appetite for fresher, tastier ‘fast food,’ is franchising its successful concept.

“Our fast casual cafés are now poised to change the face of quick service across the country,” says Mac McCabe, O’Naturals President, CEO and co-founder. “We’re looking for individuals to join us in this quick service revolution.”

“We are seeking franchisees who are committed to customer service, says McCabe, “people who recognize that ‘fresh and delicious’ are more than buzzwords. O’Naturals represents a real commitment to serving natural and organic food in convenient, innovative ways.”

O’Naturals is the brainchild of Gary Hirshberg, President and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest maker of organic yogurt, who as a frequent traveler felt held hostage by fast food outlets. Hirshberg is chairman of O’Naturals.

“We started with the simple premise that people are tired of eating the same old food made with mysterious ingredients and served in plastic surroundings,” says Hirshberg. “Instead, we offer them delicious food made from exceptional natural and organic ingredients served in a comfortable atmosphere.”

Opening its first store in Falmouth, ME in 2001, O’Naturals was the first natural and organic fast casual concept operation in the country. Its menu includes flatbread sandwiches and pizzas, soups, tossed salads, Asian noodles, kids’ meals, fresh baked goods and, where permitted, micro-brewed beer and wine. Ingredients are natural, organic, local or wild.

The existing four restaurants – in Portland and Falmouth, ME, and Acton and Somerville, MA – incorporate sustainable building materials, leather couches, a community table, free wireless Internet access, and a kids’ area. In addition, all locations offer an innovative "Ten Percent Community Night," when local non-profits host an evening and reap 10 percent of the night's revenues to benefit their organizations.

The restaurant was a 2004 "Hot Concepts!" award winner from Nation's Restaurant News (NRN), the hospitality industry’s premier trade publication, and more recently was included in the NRN’s “Top 50: Fast Casual Players.” The O’Naturals’ concept and innovation have also been featured in The New York Times, Vogue and Gourmet magazines, among other outlets, and in Asian and European press.

Successful franchisees likely will have not only restaurant and business experience, but a commitment to social responsible business practices that have characterized the O’Naturals chain since its founding in 2001