Rising Roll has been a fast-casual food underdog for way too long. But that’s about to change, with the Atlanta-based chain set to undergo a transformation thanks to its refocused franchise strategy.

Armed with a new logo, new restaurant design and service model, and an expanded menu, the gourmet sandwich concept, once named the “nation’s best for a sandwich” by USA Today, is refocusing its franchise strategy and turning its attention on the development of more traditional locations.

“Like countless other brands over the past decade or so, we saw the entry into non-traditional spaces as a way to build brand recognition and provide our product to a growing consumer base,” says Rising Roll CEO Mike Lassiter. “However, as demand continued to grow for our product, we realized that the brand held a favorable position compared to the others for whom traditional avenues had been saturated.”

Shortly after launching Rising Roll’s franchise opportunity in 2003, Lassiter focused his attention on the development of non-traditional venues such as university campuses, medical centers and Class A office buildings. While the strategy worked—16 of the brand’s 19 stores can be found in non-traditional venues—the abundance of available territories led to the shift in strategy.

Today, Rising Roll is aggressively seeking single- and multi-unit franchisees looking to partner with a more than 20-year-old brand in the multi-billion dollar fast-casual restaurant segment. The burgeoning brand is also offering territories for Area Representatives to develop which offer successful individuals the chance to develop a market and share in the franchise fees and royalties.

Lassiter, who became the company’s top executive in 2007 when he acquired the company from its original founders, notes that fast casual has been the darling of the restaurant industry with an astounding growth of 500 percent since 1999, almost as long as Rising Roll has been around. “A pure standout within the rapidly growing fast-casual segment, Rising Roll delivers an extraordinary experience at a great value, with distinctive, fresh gourmet food and exceptional service in an energetic atmosphere,” he adds.

Over the years, Rising Roll has taken its 100-year-old family recipes, blended them with chef driven cutting edge new flavor profiles and created a large variety of dining options, while maintaining a focus on customer satisfaction. The chain’s traditional stores boast a menu of approximately 50 made from scratch choices broken down into multiple categories: gourmet sandwiches, hot sandwiches, wraps, salads and breakfast. The newly expanded menu also includes gluten reduced and vegan options, as well as various “Under 400 Calorie” menu items. Rising Roll is also known for its professional catering services.

Including a franchise fee of $30,000, the initial investment to open a Rising Roll franchise is $290,986-$431,986. A typical restaurant occupies 2,000-2,400 square feet of retail space, seats approximately 50 customers and employs about 10 people.

Franchising, Growth, News, Rising Roll