Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, the fast-casual sandwich franchise, announced today the expansion of its footprint in Florida after inking a signed development agreement for the Tampa Bay area. This first-of-its-kind deal in Tampa Bay will bring 15 stores to the market and add roughly 20-25 jobs per location – bringing a total of more than 300 new jobs to the area. Two of the new stores are set to open this summer in Starkey Ranch in Odessa and Willow Bend Towne Center in Lutz, while additional shops will be located in Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk and Pinellas counties.

Developing the award-winning sandwich brand in an untapped market is what initially inspired the interest of new Capriotti’s multi-franchisee partners, Scott Crawford and Stephen Poletta. The franchisees were also drawn to the Capriotti’s franchise opportunity after learning about the exceptional support system and their mouth-watering menu options. 

“After our initial communication with the Capriotti’s leadership team, we were incredibly impressed with not only their industry experience but the compassion and support they offer to franchise partners,” says Crawford. “This coupled with the opportunity to bring an award-winning brand to the Tampa Bay area and satisfy local consumers craving for extraordinary food made our decision to invest a no-brainer.”

Crawford’s background includes experience in the food-distribution industry and ownership of other franchises in the fast-casual and quick-service restaurant space. Throughout his career, he has seen and understands the importance of how the franchisor-franchisee relationship goes a long way in determining long-term success. The support from its leadership team no doubt a deciding factor for Crawford and Poletta, but so too was Capriotti’s food.

“During my first visit to the Kennesaw shop in Georgia, the first thing I noticed were the amazing sights and smells,” adds Crawford. “I saw the giant roasted turkeys coming out of the big ovens and was met with these tantalizing smells as soon as I walked in. Then, I tried ‘The Bobbie.’ That first taste sent me back to when I was 14-years old waking up on Black Friday, making a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. I saw myself in my mama’s kitchen, all of us eating together. Right then I knew Capriotti’s was something special.”

In reference to its support system, while the COVID-19 pandemic put some service industry offerings on hold, Capriotti’s didn’t miss a beat. There were various aspects about Capriotti’s business model that made the franchise competitive during a tough time. This included initiatives like partnerships with DoorDash and Grubhub along with introducing drive-thru and contactless pickup options.

Additionally, while the franchise made strategic moves to set its current owners up for success, Capriotti’s was also able to stimulate its growth pipeline in 2020 – receiving 30 signed agreements and experiencing a significant jump in same-store sales growth. For more information about Capriotti’s franchise opportunities, please visit

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Capriotti's