Boca Raton, Florida-based I ♥Mac & Cheese, a fast casual cheese bar, announced the launch of its comprehensive national franchise program. With corporate locations in South Florida, I ♥Mac & Cheese is now available for franchise throughout the United States.
The first location opened in 2016 in Fort Lauderdale and a Parkland location opened in December 2017. Additional venues are slated to open in Pembroke Pines, FL; Boca Raton, FL; Coral Springs, FL; Davie, FL; Jupiter, FL; and Oklahoma City, OK.
“We’re excited about the enthusiasm for our brand,” says managing partner Stephen Giordanella. “We’re excited to find owners who share our passion for the concept while providing them with guidance to make the brand and their new franchise a success.”
The family friendly restaurant specializes in custom, build-your-own macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches, and offers a catering division. Diners choose from a variety of pasta or bread, including gluten-free, along with seven different types of cheeses, vegetables, and seven proteins—think meatballs, bacon, ground beef, short ribs and crispy chicken.
Not sure what to build? There is also a signature menu featuring options such as The Cuban with mojo marinated pulled pork, ham, Gruyere cheese and dill pickles; The Best of Both Worlds, a baked mac and cheese sandwich with slow-cooked short rib, white cheddar cheese and American cheese finished with BBQ Sauce; and Lobster & White Truffle consisting of Maine lobster, muenster cheese and scallions finished with lobster cream and white truffle oil. The comfort food-focused restaurant is also part salad bar, offering salads and baked bites filled with chicken and macaroni and cheese. Loaded baked tater tots are stuffed with cheese, bacon, scallions and ranch sauce.
There’s dessert, too—frozen cheesecake pops dipped in strawberry, chocolate or caramel sauce, cheesecake in a cup and mini chocolate chip cookies.
“Being a franchisee gives you the ability to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” says Giordanella. “You receive an established business model and plan, and a proven operating system from the franchisor instead of figuring it all out by yourself. At I ♥Mac & Cheese, you receive pre-opening and ongoing support from the franchisor, who shares information they as well as franchisees have learned that can help make you more successful and ensure your success.”
A unique franchise concept in the restaurant industry since there are no fryers, grease trap systems or hood systems necessary, I ♥Mac & Cheese requires a low investment and can be opened in a small space, such as a mall kiosk or food court. Shopping malls, sports venues, areas close to colleges and universities, and high-traffic pedestrian areas are also ideal locations.