Muscle Maker Grill announced it has signed a multiunit franchise agreement to develop 15 restaurants in Connecticut.

This new contract marks the chain’s first franchise deal in the state and continues Muscle Maker Grill’s growth nationwide.

“Muscle Maker Grill continues to expand throughout the country. Our unique concept featuring healthy food that tastes great creates a true alternative for people looking for a healthy option in their fast-paced lives,” says Rod Silva, founder of Muscle Maker Grill. “We are thrilled to reach an agreement to bring our lean, protein-based menu of favorite foods, such as chicken, seafood, pasta, burgers, wraps, and entrée salads, to Connecticut.” 

The first Connecticut location is scheduled to open in Fairfield County in early 2013. Ten Muscle Maker Grill restaurants will be in Fairfield County, while the remaining five eateries are slated for New Haven County.

Franchise owners Robert Painter and Craig Platt are Connecticut natives who believe Muscle Maker Grill offers a healthier alternative to other fast-casual restaurants.

A member of the New York City Fire Department (NYFD), Painter has been involved in cooking and restaurants since he was 15 years old. He decided to become a franchise owner after eating at a Muscle Maker Grill in New York City.

“I was on my way home from practice and stopped into a Muscle Maker Grill,” says Painter, who is a tight end on the NYFD Bravest Football Club. “The second I tried the food, I knew this was something that I had to be a part of. No other restaurant chain offers healthy food that tastes this good.”

The 10-franchise deal is an integral part of Muscle Maker Grill’s plans togrow the franchise system to 100 locations by early 2013.

In addition to Connecticut, Muscle Maker Grill has restaurants in Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

“We plan to continue to expand across the country, bringing nutritious, quick-service options to people coast to coast,” Silva says. “We are looking for motivated multiunit operators just like Rob and Craig to join our team and bring Muscle Maker Grill to their own communities.”

Muscle Maker Grill was founded in 1995 by Silva with the goal of offering a nutritious alternative to fast-food restaurants. The rapidly growing chain fills a void in the marketplace for quick, convenient, healthy meal options.

Muscle Maker Grill prides itself on creating healthier versions of mainstream favorite dishes that taste great, making it easy and enjoyable to eat healthy.

Muscle Maker Grill serves lean, protein-based dishes and offers a variety of fruit smoothies in an assortment of flavors.

The atmosphere at Muscle Maker Grill is friendly, relaxed, and casual. Each restaurant offers catering, take-out, and delivery services for the convenience of its customers.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Muscle Maker Grill