Since its founding in 2006, Fresh To Order has stressed steady growth dictated by the right partnerships. That’s the case with both its sourcing partners—the brand looks to several regional suppliers for the ingredients that make up its plates, sandwiches, salads, and burgers—and its franchise partners.

One of the few fast casual 2.0 brands investing in the franchise model for growth, Fresh To Order has a rich history in franchising; founder and CEO Pierre Panos is a long-time Papa John’s franchisee.

Recent franchise partners include Charles Hensley, the former CEO and managing member of McIndy Ventures LLC, a 19-unit McAlister’s Deli franchisee. Hensley, who was named that fast casual’s “Franchisee of the Year” twice, signed an agreement to open 10-plus stores in the Indianapolis market, which is Fresh To Order’s second multiunit agreement in the Midwest, joining a recent Chicago deal. In addition to the 13 open restaurants, Fresh To Order expects to have 17 running by the end of 2017, and another 11 are in various stages of development.

Panos credits menu development as the primary draw for customers and franchisees alike.

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“Last year, we had great response to several new seasonal dishes, including our signature Grilled Peaches and Brie Salad and our Brown Sugar Slow-Roasted Pork Panini,” Panos says. “With the introduction of our new Salmon Burger and new Grilled Salmon Chef Small Plate, we start 2017 as we ended 2016: continuing to be the leaders in providing guests flavorful, scratch-made authentic items.”

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, Story, Fresh to Order