Newk’s Eatery, a fresh-casual restaurant concept offering a variety of made-to-order choices, recently signed agreements for six new locations in the latest phase of the company’s accelerated expansion. The first of these new restaurants will open in July.

“2013 has already proven to be a profitable year for Newk’s Eatery, and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon,” says Chris Newcomb, founder and CEO of Newk’s Franchise Company. “We have experienced incredible growth since we opened the flagship location nearly a decade ago, thanks to our strong business model and savvy franchisees.”

Since opening its first location in Oxford, Mississippi, in 2004, Newk’s Eatery has expanded its presence to 11 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Newk's has 53 restaurants open, 46 of which are franchised. Five new restaurants opened in 2010, 15 in 2011, and seven in 2012. Projections call for 15 restaurants to open in 2013.

Newk’s Eatery provides a fresh-casual dining experience and features a variety of made-to-order choices, including fresh-tossed salads, oven-baked sandwiches, California-style pizzas, made-from-scratch soups, and homemade cakes baked by Newk’s Bakery Company. A selection of wines by the glass and beer is also available at select locations.

Partners Brack Rowe, Todd Pennington, and Jim Newton, officially known as NPR Food Services, eventually plan to open a total of five Newk’s Eatery locations. Their first franchise agreement is for one restaurant in Summerville, South Carolina, opening in July.

The family team of JMH Dining—Jan, Matt, and Hays Collins—signed agreements for five new locations. The first two restaurants will open in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama, in the third and fourth quarter of 2013, respectively, and Columbus, Georgia, will open in the first quarter of 2014.

Wade Quinn, Scot Davis, and Wes Williams of Roundtable Enterprises joined the Newk’s Eatery team with an agreement for a restaurant in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The partners plan to open their first location in the third quarter of 2013.

North Druid Hills in Georgia will be the site for K & M Deli’s third Newk’s Eatery restaurant. Franchise owners Keith Estapa and Missy Moon are expected to open their restaurant in the first quarter of 2014.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Sandwiches, Newk's Eatery