This has been a busy year for Sal Rincione since being named the CEO of UFood Grill, the award-winning, fast-casual restaurant franchise where “delicious meets nutritious.” In only six months, the restaurant veteran has been adding to his executive team, introducing a new logo and restaurant prototype, launching a redesigned website, and outlining aggressive goals for national expansion.
Taking note of his initiatives, The Boston Globe recently reported on Rincione’s activities, stating, “The goal is to cook up a concept that can be easily sold to franchisees and in turn drive Millennials through the doors.”
Rincione, whose previous leadership positions included Planet Hollywood, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Red Mango, considers his new role the most exciting of his career at the most exciting time in restaurant development.
“We are at the heart of an important national movement to bring healthier dining options to a growing customer base,” Rincione says. “People are demanding better food, healthier ingredients, and total transparency. While old [quick-service] chains are trying to save their consumer base, shed unfavorable brand identities, and catch up, UFood Grill is already in a leadership position to expand what we already do so well.”
Early in the chain’s development, UFood Grill championed the idea of sharing caloric information, menu ingredients, and food preparation details with customers. Today, with a network of 16 locations at predominantly nontraditional sites such as airports, military bases, and government buildings, Rincione sees an immediate opportunity to expand on the brand’s success through traditional franchising.
Rincione has spearheaded an updated look and feel for UFood Grill with a new logo and restaurant prototype that is now available for franchise expansion across the U.S. He appointed Bob DiBartolomeo as vice president of franchise development with plans to expand the UFood Grill network to 100 locations over the next four years.
Driving that growth is a new “Lean and Mean Deal” franchise incentive program, featuring a $35,000 franchise fee for the initial restaurant and a $10,000 franchise fee per additional restaurant for a limited time on multiunit agreements of three or more traditional locations.
And a new consumer-facing and franchise development website was recently unveiled to spotlight the best asset that UFood has championed from day one: delicious food that not only tastes great, but is great for you.
“The company feels like a hot new startup with all of the progress we’ve made,” Rincione says. “And yet, we have this great track record at our nontraditional sites to build on, which gives us a huge advantage as we head to new markets.”
The UFood Grill menu includes chicken, beef, turkey, and veggie burgers, unfries, steak tips, wraps, bowls, salads, and paninis prepared fresh using natural and organic ingredients, whole grains, light cheeses, and freshly-made dressings. Meals are low in calories, fat, and sodium and are made to order. Nothing is ever fried. Beverages include real fruit smoothies and specialty teas. Created in a better-for-you way, UFood Grill is transforming the industry one healthy meal at a time.
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