Four existing franchisees of fast casual restaurant brand Newk’s Eatery will expand their franchise agreements. Citing confidence in the brand’s continued growth and the strength of its offering, the franchisees will open new locations in Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia, all booming markets for the brand.

Known for its culinary-driven menu featuring made-from-scratch soups, fresh tossed salads, hand-crafted pizzas, grilled and toasted sandwiches and fresh-baked cakes, Newk’s saw double-digit revenue growth this year and expanded into the West and Midwest. This success, combined with strong training and operational support, has fueled franchise development.

“Newk’s continues to outperform the industry, with average unit volumes exceeding $2 million and an ever-increasing loyal customer base,” says Newk’s Chief Development Officer Chris Cheek. “We will close out 2017 with a positive outlook for growth, with both new and existing franchisees.”

The franchisees with expanded franchise agreements are:

Paul Williams, an Atlanta-based franchisee who opened his first Newk’s this month in Smyrna, Georgia. He expanded his territory to include Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tennessee. He plans to open a total of six locations in northern Atlanta and four in Tennessee.

NELA Dining, led by Rebecca Fuller, which currently owns and operates three Newk’s eateries in Monroe and Ruston, Louisiana. The company has committed to open four locations in Naples, Florida, a new market for Newk’s.

Jay Medley, who committed to open four additional locations in Greater Atlanta. He currently owns and operates two area locations, with a third opening this month in Canton.

Missy Moon, who is also expanding in Greater Atlanta. She currently owns and operates two restaurants and now plans to open two additional restaurants.

In addition to strong financials, Newk’s credits innovation for the surge in franchise growth. In 2017, the brand rolled out a new construction process that saves franchisees up to $100,000 on new builds. In 2018, it will expand its to-go menu, with a new “Newk’s Express Market” to support increasing demand for off-premise dining.

“When we founded Newk’s in 2004, we committed to a rate of growth that allowed us to maintain our high standards for food, service quality and thoughtful development,” says Newk’s CEO and co-founder Chris Newcomb. “The Newk’s Eatery concept has been developed and refined to meet the needs of consumers and franchise operators alike, truly carving out a unique point of difference.”

In 2017, Newk’s expanded into 10 new markets and added over 50 new franchise unit commitments. It will end the year with more than 120 restaurants.

Based in Jackson, Mississippi, Newk’s Eatery is leading the next generation of fast casual with its culinary-driven menu prepared in Newk’s open kitchens, featuring made-from-scratch soups, fresh tossed salads, hand-crafted pizzas, grilled and toasted sandwiches and fresh-baked cakes from Newk’s very own bakery. Founded in 2004, Newk’s currently operates and franchises more than 115 units in 15 states. The company is gaining national attention for its accelerated growth and commitment to community, including Newk’s Cares, an ongoing program which has raised more than $720,000 for ovarian cancer research and awareness.

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