With eight new restaurant openings scheduled for completion within the fourth quarter of 2013, Newk’s Eatery is undergoing exponential growth. Newk’s first restaurant was opened in Oxford, Mississippi, in 2004 by founder, Chris Newcomb. Today, the Newk’s Franchise Company has grown to include nine company-owned and 54 franchise-owned restaurants.

“Guests are drawn to the flavorful ingredient combinations and freshness of the foods served in our restaurants,” says president and CEO, Chris Newcomb. “We use quality ingredients that are freshly-prepared in our open-view kitchens, and those hallmarks of the Newk’s brand create a ‘fresh-casual’ family-friendly experience that guests and franchisees alike value.”

Newk’s restaurants have expanded into 12 states, with 14 restaurants opened in 2013. Newk’s growth in 2014 is expected to outpace this year. The company has sold the rights to more than 100 new restaurants over the next 4 years, including development plans in the lower Midwest, Texas, the Carolinas, and Maryland. Multi-unit, seasoned franchisees value the company’s streamlined, low-labor operation designed for efficiency, site adaptability, and multiple revenue opportunities. In addition to in-restaurant dining, Newk’s offers catering and prepared menu options in the Grab-N-Go refrigerated case at the front of each store.

“Like most Newk’s franchisees, we fell in love with both the freshness of the food and the interior design,” says Todd Jackson, whose multi-unit agreement includes nine restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama, and Houston, Texas.  “It’s obvious that Newk’s is going places and we wanted to be involved from the beginning.”

Newk’s offers prepared entrees with sizable portions. From the restaurants’ open-view kitchens, customers dining in can watch the preparation of tossed salads, oven-baked sandwiches, California-style pizzas, and made-from-scratch soups, and then customize their meals at the signature Roundtable. Newk’s Roundtable, which is featured in the center of every restaurant, offers complimentary toppings and add-ons, such as imported capers, roasted garlic, jalapeno peppers, Parmesan cheese, sweet pickles, banana peppers, homemade croutons, breadsticks, and more.

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