Pandini’s, a premier
fast-casual Italian bistro, has been named a winner of the prestigious Hot
Concepts! Award for their innovation, emerging growth potential, consumer
appeal, and the ability to fire up appetites in multiple markets.

one of the nine concepts from Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Retail Brand Group has
15 locations nationwide. This year’s win for Pandini’s marks the second
Retail Brand Group restaurant to be named a Hot Concept!; Jazzman’s(R) Cafe
was honored in 2004. The award, now in its twelfth year, is sponsored by
Nation’s Restaurant News and EQUAL(R).

“We know there is a bright year ahead for Pandini’s,” says Damon
Liever, president of the Retail Brand Group, LLC. “We get a phenomenal
customer response to this brand and we have sustained growth year over
year; our average comp store sales year to date is 11 percent.”

The Retail Brand Group expects to open as many as eight more company-
managed Pandini’s this spring in corporate, healthcare and campus
locations. The company recently signed for the first Pandini’s franchise
location which will open in Charlotte, NC later this year.

“It’s truly thrilling to have Pandini’s recognized as a Hot Concept!,”
says Husein Kitabwalla, vice president of development for the Retail Brand
Group. “We know first-hand the kind of momentum that comes with an award
like this and Pandini’s has come so far as a brand already — we have a
location in South Carolina that is averaging between $25k and $30k a week
in sales.”