Giardino Gourmet Salads, a Florida-based fast casual concept focused on garden-to-bowl nutrition, announced that it is continuing its expansion across Miami following multi-unit franchisees Jaime Mitrani and Robert Fuerth’s acquisition of their fifth Giardino Gourmet Salads restaurant located in the Blue Lagoon business district.
“Our secret to continued growth includes passionate franchise owners like Jaime and Rob who provide a high-level of customer service to guests every day,” says Ody Lugo, Giardino Gourmet Salads co-founder and board member. “We’re thrilled that Jaime and Rob continue to reinvest in the brand through the opening of new units and the acquisition of additional existing restaurants.”
Miami natives, Mitrani and Fuerth’s path to restaurant ownership began after Mitrani left his successful career as an attorney at the global law firm of Holland & Knight to pursue his dream of entrepreneurship. After looking into various franchise concepts, Mitrani joined forces with Fuerth and the business partners acquired their first Giardino Gourmet Salads restaurant in South Miami in 2012. Shortly thereafter, they built a new restaurant in Miami Lakes, where they took on an additional partner in Lilly Tudela, and acquired additional existing restaurants in Palmetto Bay and Kendall, which was followed by the recent opening their newest restaurant in the Blue Lagoon business district.
Since they first assumed ownership in South Miami, the business partners have fine-tuned operations, run multiple restaurants – of which one has individually generated over $1 million in revenue a year – and become the largest multi-unit operators in the emerging Giardino Gourmet Salads system.
“When we were searching for a company to invest in, we knew we wanted a lifestyle brand that would resonate with millennials and carry over into other generations as well,” says Jaime Mitrani, Giardino Gourmet Salads multi-unit franchisee. “Giardino Gourmet Salads fit that mold because there is a genuine need across South Florida for real, simple food that is handcrafted for people that are focused on nutrient-rich ingredients instead of another burger. We’re thrilled about developing our 5th location while continuing to provide communities across Miami with a garden-to-bowl alternative to traditional fast food at an exceptional value.”
Mitrani and Fuerth’s newest Giardino Gourmet Salads restaurant is located at 5787 NW 7th Avenue near the Blue Lagoon business district. This restaurant, along with the brand’s 15 other locations across South Florida, feature globally inspired salads, wraps, grain bowls, soups and sandwiches. What sets Giardino Gourmet Salads apart from the competition is its one-of-a-kind approach to the guest experience and its focus on Nutritional Empowerment®. Every guest has the ability to customize a wide variety of salads, wraps and grain bowls from more than 60 fresh ingredients including an extensive variety of freshly chopped leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, proteins, dozens of different dressings, homemade deli salads, sauces, and daily baked homemade croutons.
Giardino Gourmet Salads began with a vision in 2004 by founders Ody and Kenny Lugo, a former Miami-Dade County school teacher and Miami-Dade County firefighter respectively. Today, the fast casual salad, wrap and bowl concept sees room for additional 12-15 units across Miami-Dade County over the next few years.
As part of Giardino Gourmet Salads strategic growth initiative, the brand is focused on building additional restaurants with the right franchise partners in South Florida communities where there is a need for fresh and healthy fast casual alternatives. With 15 restaurants open across South Florida, Giardino Gourmet Salads intends to continue to grow across the region.
“Franchisees such as Jaime and Rob are propelling our brand forward as they continue to deliver upon our unmatched quality, value and an unparalleled guest experience,” says Kenny Lugo, Giardino Gourmet Salads co-founder and board member. “Their passion, along with the rest of our franchise network, is a major reason why we were named one of America’s hottest startup fast casual restaurants. We take development very seriously and that is reflected in the quality of our owners, our relationships we build with them and the locations in which we operate restaurants.”