Colorado-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept serving fresh and healthy Mediterranean cuisine, announces the awarding of franchise development rights to GMG Arizona LLC.

With the rights to develop up to 20 Garbanzo restaurants in the Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona areas, GMG Arizona LLC is planning to open its first location in the East Valley region of Phoenix. The group is also currently considering locations in Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, and Tempe. They will move focus to the Tucson area in late 2013/early 2014.
“An authority on owning and operating restaurants, GMG Arizona is eager to acquaint the Phoenix and Tucson communities with the Mediterranean flavors found only at Garbanzo,” says Bob Bafundo, Garbanzo vice president of company and franchise operations. “We welcome them to the growing Garbanzo family and look forward to their achievements in Arizona.”
Garbanzo has firm qualification criteria for potential franchisees. Only experienced, successful multi-unit restaurant operators who are well capitalized and interested in additional multi-unit growth with the Garbanzo brand are considered.
“The Arizona consumers are not going to be able to get enough of Garbanzo,” says Steve Morris, GMG Arizona LLC owner. “Between the warm weather culture of the community and their interest in ethnic foods and an active lifestyle, Garbanzo is certainly going to fill a need for healthy and convenient food in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.”
“Garbanzo is a brand at the forefront of the restaurant industry and the fast-casual niche,” says James Wilkie, GMG Arizona LLC operating partner. “It can break through the clutter of overdone and uninteresting options to serve up a new and exciting menu that offers great flexibility and multiple entrée combinations.”
“I feel there is a huge audience in Arizona for the taste profile and healthy options Garbanzo has to offer,” says Alon Mor, Garbanzo founder, president, and CEO. “Our made-from-scratch products have wide appeal while our authentic Mediterranean recipes provide an unequaled approach to fast-casual dining. After just one taste, I know the Phoenix and Tucson residents will be loyal Garbanzo supporters.”
Franchising is one of Garbanzo’s key growth strategies building upon the success of its 15 company-owned restaurants in Colorado. In addition to expansion through franchising, Garbanzo continues its aggressive company-owned restaurant development both in the state and outside Colorado’s borders, specifically in the D.C./Baltimore area.
Garbanzo offers guests a variety of authentic Mediterranean items with an emphasis on flavor, freshness, and quality, as well as a healthy trans-fat free menu. Guests have the ability to customize every meal with items such as pita, laffa, falafel, shwarma, hummus, seasoned rice, sauces, and dressings. All Garbanzo salads and sauces are prepared on-site daily, and the pita are made from scratch throughout the day in every restaurant. Additionally, several ingredients are bought locally and some are imported directly from the Mediterranean region. 
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Operations, Pizza, Garbanzo