Melt Shop announced today that it has signed a multi-unit franchise development agreement to grow its brand footprint in Florida. In tandem with CFL EATZ LLC, Melt Shop will open six restaurants in Orlando and surrounding counties including Osceola, Volusia and Polk, among others. This marks Melt Shop's largest Florida deal to-date. The brand plans to open its first Florida location at Sawgrass Mall in Sunrise later this year.
"We've always believed that our brand would be the perfect fit for Florida, and we're excited to partner with Bob Picerneand his team," says Josh Morgan, COO of Melt Shop. "Orlando remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and the local population continues to grow at a rapid pace. Our Florida restaurants will be located in destination hotspots and in some of the busiest malls in the country. It's a really exciting time for all of us and we're ready to get started."
Melt Shop will partner with CFL EATZ LLC to develop six restaurants over the next three years with the first three planned to open within 18 months. The company's principal owner, Bob Picerne, has a portfolio that includes Five Guys restaurants, airport concessions at Orlando International Airport and more than 10,000 apartment units across the country.
"We were actively looking for our next franchising opportunity and became drawn to Melt Shop very quickly," says Bob Picerne, Principal of CFL EATZ LLC. "We've been in the food business for a long time and know a good product when we see one. Melt Shop's unique take on fast casual combined with its rapid growth made this a great business decision. We look forward to working with Josh and his team as we aim to begin construction by 2020."
In addition to expanding in Orlando, Melt Shop is planning more than five openings later this year. The company is also propelling its nontraditional growth by opening up in malls throughout target regions, like the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. To date, more than half of Melt Shop's restaurants are located in nontraditional spaces. To further drive its ongoing growth, the brand is seeking well-capitalized multi-unit franchisees in New York, the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, as well as in Florida, who are entrepreneurial, have a strong knowledge of their markets, and are excited to be a part of a culinary experience unmatched in the melted sandwich space. Since launching into franchising in September 2017, Melt Shop has added more than 35 restaurants to the pipeline and remains well ahead of its goal to open 100 locations by 2023.