Focus Brands, the parent company of iconic brands Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, is accelerating non-traditional unit expansion. With consumer accessibility and convenience top-of-mind, Focus Brands is committed to bringing its portfolio of restaurant and specialty brands to consumers through a wide variety of non-traditional locations, including airports, convenience stores, amusement parks, colleges, ghost kitchens and other high-trafficked venues. Today, across the entire family of brands, there are 954 non-traditional units open across the U.S. with an additional 313 units in the pipeline, but there is demand to grow further.
“We’re fortunate to have a variety of brands in multiple verticals that have the brand awareness and development prototypes ideal for non-traditional locations. As we continue to grow, it’s crucial in this competitive market to identify non-traditional opportunities that will build awareness for our brands, while turning profits for our brands’ franchisees,” says Brian Krause, Chief Development Officer of Focus Brands. “Knowing that there’s high demand for our brands, we want to expand in the right non-traditional venues to ensure we’re building accessibility and giving our guests more opportunities to enjoy their favorite food and beverage. We’re looking forward to adding new units to the development pipeline and to opening additional locations in the coming months.”
Non-traditional growth exploded for the Focus family of brands in 2021, signing deals and opening locations in exciting new venues:
Convenience Stores and Travel Plazas:
Premium convenience store franchisee, Pilot Travel Centers, plans to bring 10 new Cinnabon locations to travel plazas and convenience stores across the country.
Mountain Express also signed a deal to bring 50 Schlotzsky’s and 5 Moe’s Southwest Grill locations to travel plazas in the Southeast region.
This year, Cinnabon opened its first location in the Charleston International Airport, owned by the first ever African American female franchisee in the Charleston airport, Shawnalea Garvin.
HMSHost signed an agreement to open a new Jamba location in the Salt Lake City International Airport that is set to open this winter.
Franchisee Ajay Maini is opening a Jamba location at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA, in early 2022.
Auntie Anne’s plans to open two locations at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington in the coming months; these will be the first such locations within a Six Flags park.
Colleges and Universities:
In addition to bringing brands on to college campuses across the country, Focus Brands targets “college edge” markets for its four specialty brands – Jamba, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s and Carvel – to bring non-traditional locations to high-traffic, downtown college towns.
A Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s co-brand location opened near the University of Cincinnati in October and a Jamba and Auntie Anne’s co-brand location near Auburn University is set to open next year.
Jamba Robotic Kiosk:
Jamba recently opened its second robotic kiosk pilot location in Stonewood Center in Downey, CA. Jamba by Blendid allows for the brand to enter venues like big box retailers, travel centers, hospitals and college campuses where a full Jamba store might not be viable. Leveraging this innovative new technology from robotics leader Blendid gives Jamba the opportunity to provide greater consumer accessibility and meet the demand for more locations in non-traditional venues.
Cinnabon is piloting growth via ghost kitchens with nine newly opened locations with Ghost Kitchen Brands in Canada and the US.
To further non-traditional growth, all seven brands in the Focus Brands portfolio are looking to grow with qualified franchisees.