At UFood Grill, gluten-free and organic aren’t trendy buzzwords, they’re a core part of the fourteen year-old brand’s mission and act as guiding principles for the menu. Franchisees who want to capitalize on diners’ desire for nutritious options are a perfect match for UFood Grill.
UFood Grill’s original founders were bodybuilders who wanted to create a healthy alternative to fast food. They quickly attracted a cult following because of the delicious, fresh menu options. Today, the bodybuilders are gone but the company’s commitment to nutritious food has remained. Since UFood Grill was founded, more and more consumers have embraced a healthier lifestyle and want nutritious quick-serve options. UFood Grill offers a varied menu with an emphasis on fresh produce, premium proteins, and gourmet menu items created by the company’s classically trained executive chef.
“America wants UFood Grill because diners want healthier options,” Salvatore Rincione, the CEO of UFood Grill, says. The menu is a mix of healthy entrees, burgers, salads, and grain bowls that cover the breakfast, lunch, and dinner dayparts. “Our proteins are the best you can get. We use grass-fed beef, hormone-free chicken, and fresh tiger shrimp. Our vegetables are fresh, and nothing on our menu is over 700 calories.”
Transparency is another key element of UFood Grill’s popularity. The stores feature an open concept where diners can see into the kitchen and watch their meals being prepared, and the menu includes the calorie count of each item. The company began posting these counts in 2003 long before other quick serves because “we’re proud of our calorie counts,” Rincione says.
The company currently operates stores in 11 states with plans to expand further in 2016. Potential franchisees should have liquid assets of $200,000, and costs to open are between $430,000 and $643,000. After being approved to open a location, franchisees are asked to visit the UFood Grill headquarters in Avon, Massachusetts, for a discovery day. “It’s important that franchisees meet me, my executive staff, and the executive chef,” Rincione says.
There are two weeks of hands-on training after that. The UFood Grill team will also go over possible locations and real estate selection with franchisees who are not sure where to open a store. “It’s truly a turnkey operation,” Rincione says. After opening, UFood Grill provides marketing and operational support to franchise owners. “We’re involved with our franchisees every step of the way, and we even offer support with marketing, profit and loss statements, and more through our franchise support office.”
Rincione says that joining the UFood Grill company is similar to joining a family, not a business. “It’s like a marriage,” he laughs. “I treat my franchisees like family. It’s amazing to have a relationship like that.” Franchisees who want to feel good about the food that they serve and the company that they work for should apply to own a location of UFood Grill, which shows that healthy doesn’t have to be unpleasant. “What’s really important is that we’re not only delicious, we’re nutritious,” Rincione says.
For more information about franchising opportunities with UFood Grill, visit www.UFoodGrill.com
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