I Heart Mac & Cheese announced a three-store franchise development agreement with Raj Patel to bring the brand to Alabama. Two locations will open in Birmingham and the third will open in Tuscaloosa throughout 2020 and 2021.
“I Heart Mac & Cheese is a fun, attractive concept and an affordable franchise model that is easy to operate, with support systems in place to help our partners be successful,” says Stephen Giordanella, I Heart Mac & Cheese CEO and Chairman. “We are thrilled to bring our popular concept into the state of Alabama.”
The franchise group developing I Heart Mac & Cheese in the Birmingham area includes Raj Patel and his parents, Vinod and Dipika Patel, the latter two who will manage and oversee day-to-day operations. Raj Patel was attracted to I Heart Mac & Cheese – and the restaurant industry – as his parents and other family members owned full-service restaurants during his childhood.
“I’m thrilled to be opening the very first I Heart Mac & Cheese locations in Alabama, alongside my parents,” says Raj Patel. “We look forward to bringing a unique dining experience to Birmingham and showcasing menu items that are reminiscent of everyone’s favorite childhood memories.”
I Heart Mac & Cheese is well-known for custom, build-your-own macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches. Guests select a pasta, bread, quinoa, broccoli or cauliflower base along with seven different proteins, vegetables, and cheeses. Most recently, the brand unveiled a new vegan menu featuring plant-based options through an official partnership that was launched with Beyond Meat. Gluten-free options are also available. Sesame ginger, mango habanero, buffalo, BBQ, and pesto are a few of the delicious dressings and sauces available to mix in or top off each creation. In addition to customized options, the menu includes specialty chef special items like Baked Chicken Parmesan, Baked Meatball Parmesan, The Cuban, Pepperoni Pizza, and Lobster & White Truffle Mac, among others. Guests can pair their meal with the perfect side of Tomato Soup and finish it with a selection of desserts such as Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies and Marshmallow Treats.
A unique franchise concept in the restaurant industry with no fryers, grease trap systems or hood systems, I Heart Mac & Cheese requires a low investment and can be opened in a small space, such as a mall kiosk or food court. Shopping malls, sports venues, areas close to colleges and universities, and high-traffic pedestrian areas are also ideal locations. With a home office in South Florida, I Heart Mac & Cheese offers franchise owner training, marketing support and ongoing development opportunities to ensure each location’s success.