No matter what kind of day you’ve had, you can always count on a bowl of macaroni and cheese to cheer you up. Soon, thanks to a recently launched franchise expansion initiative, Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez! will be feeding America’s growing appetite for the classic comfort food with its variety of mouthwatering, cheezy pick-me-ups.

With four locations currently open and operating throughout Michigan, the new, chef-driven fast-causal concept plans to open 10 new restaurants by the end of 2016 and have as many as 100 nationwide in the next five years.

Commitments have already been signed for the company’s fifth location in Michigan, as well as one each in Illinois and Ohio.

“Macaroni and cheese is one of those quintessential comfort foods that Americans love to indulge in … it’s delicious, cheesy perfection, and we can’t get enough of it,” says Sweet Lorraine’s founder and award-winning Chef Lorraine Platman. “I've spent 30 years perfecting my distinctive and delicious macaroni and cheese recipes, and I can’t wait to share them with as many new customers as possible.”

Founded in 2010 and franchising since 2013, Sweet Lorraine’s offers customers 14 different kinds of meat-topped and vegetarian macaroni and cheese dishes in two sizes (mini or mega), all made to order in less than two minutes. Many of the variations are favorites from other realms: the BLT, the Philly Cheesesteak, Buffalo Chicken, the Cheeseburger, the Pepperoni Pizza, and the Macho Nacho. Guests can also mix and match from over 38 topping choices to create more than 1.7 billion palate pleasing combinations.

All the dishes start with twisted curly noodles made from 100 percent durum wheat, which Italians insist on using for their pasta. The noodles are tossed in cheese sauce that Sweet Lorraine’s makes using locally sourced cheddar cheese. Once they’ve have had a chance to frolic in the sauce, diners can customize their dish before it is broiled to bubbly perfection.

In addition to specialty mac and cheese dishes, Sweet Lorraine’s offers a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free soups, salads, twisted grilled cheese, and desserts.

"Customers are looking for fun, high-quality food on the go and Lorraine has created the perfect menu for that lifestyle," says Gary Sussman, Platman’s husband and CEO of Sweet Lorraine's. “In addition, franchise investors recognize that we've created a completely new category of fast casual restaurants with tremendous potential for growth."

Sussman said the company is looking for franchise partners and area developers interested in jumping into the fast-casual market with a unique, pioneering concept. With a franchise fee of $39,900, the total investment to own and operate a Sweet Lorraine’s franchise is $160,000 to $400,000. The franchise fee for additional locations is $24,500.

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