Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. announced the signing of a multi-unit development agreement with Ellaicy Restaurant Company Inc. to franchise Einstein Bros. Bagels restaurants in Central Illinois and continue to expand the brand.

Ellaicy Restaurant Company Inc.’s multi-unit franchise agreement continues Einstein Bros. Bagels’ strategy of expansion through increased franchising with the right business partners who can carry on the Einstein Bros. tradition.

Based in Peoria, Illinois, Ellaicy Restaurant Company Inc. plans to open five Einstein Bros. restaurants within the next five years in the Peoria, East Peoria, and Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, markets. The first location is scheduled to open in October 2010.

“The craveable food and comfortable atmosphere of the popular Einstein Bros. brand fit in well with the neighborhood,” says Khalid Khairy, chairman of Ellaicy Restaurant Company Inc. “I am pleased that we are planning to bring its neighborhood-friendly atmosphere and variety of great tasting menu items with high-quality ingredients and quick casual service to the residents.”

As the franchised restaurants open their doors, neighbors and guests in Peoria, East Peoria, and Bloomington-Normal will be able to fill their breakfast, lunch, and snack cravings with Einstein Bros. Bagels’ menu, featuring bagels and shmear varieties, made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches, Darn Good Coffee® and specialty coffee drinks, soups, salads, baked goods, and desserts.

“This new franchise agreement confirms that demand for our brand is building,” says Jeff O’Neill, CEO of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. “We want to be the fastest growing fast-casual restaurant chain in America, and we are accelerating growth by increasing our focus on expansion through franchising.”

As of Jan. 8, 2010, the company has signed 14 multi-unit franchise agreements, which, when fully developed, represent a total of 57 additional stores. The first two franchise locations opened in Jacksonville, Florida, and Rogers, Arkansas, in 2008.

“Khalid is an astute and experienced entrepreneur with strong ties to Peoria, East Peoria, and Bloomington-Normal,” says O’Neill. “Executing our aggressive growth phase with franchise partners such as Khalid is a sign that we are attracting high-quality investors. We are very excited to have him join the Einstein Bros. family.”

Menu Innovations, News, Einstein Bros. Bagels