Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a fast-casual, rapidly emerging South Florida–based restaurant concept, announced that Ruby Tuesday Inc., a casual-dining chain with more than 800 company-owned and franchised restaurants across
America, has entered into an agreement to develop and open new Lime Fresh Mexican Grill locations throughout the Eastern U.S.

Ruby Tuesday Inc. plans to initially open approximately 12 locations, with a goal of up to 200 in the future.

John Kunkel, founder and CEO of Lime Fresh, opened the first store in 2004 to complement the vibrant and food-conscious culture of South Beach. The menu features homemade tortilla chips, customizable nachos, flautas, salads, soups, fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, salsa, and guacamole, all handmade in the restaurant and priced from $3 to $10. Signature drinks include a Lime Margarita, frozen sangria, and selection of craft beers.

“Lime Fresh Mexican Grill is a well-positioned restaurant concept that represents the best of fun, fast-casual dining,” says Sandy Beall, founder and CEO of Ruby Tuesday. “The food is full of great flavor and made 100 percent fresh throughout the day with premium, locally grown ingredients. It’s a great fit with our strategic direction.”

The licensing agreement with Ruby Tuesday marks the restaurant’s debut outside Florida.

“From the moment we opened our doors, I knew we had struck the right chord,” Kunkel says, “but I wanted to move slowly, guiding the process carefully to make certain we partnered with the right company that would retain the core values that have made us so successful. Growth is good, and now ours is with a partner as committed as we are to sustainability and high quality. It’s the right way to bring Lime Fresh Mexican Grill to a larger audience.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, Menu Innovations, News, Lime Fresh