Tossed, home of garden fresh salads, crepe wraps, and sandwiches, announced the signing of a franchise agreement with a Chicago ownership team, bringing the chain's healthy cuisine to America's heartland. Tossed's new franchisees anticipate opening three locations in downtown Chicago.

"Tossed is more than just a restaurant. It's a concept that can help structure a healthy and sustainable lifestyle," says Nathan Sopha, partner and manager of Tossed's new Chicago franchise group. "The importance of a fresh and healthy diet has been gaining serious momentum within our society. Today's consumers are much more conscious about what they consume, and are looking for healthy alternatives to the mainstream fast food industry—which is what we will provide by opening Tossed in Chicago."

Founded in 1998, Tossed is known for its distinctive menu and modern, fast-casual ambience. The restaurant's cuisine appeals to those who appreciate lighter, wholesome fare. Among its well-known items are gourmet salads with more than 50 choices of toss-ins, along with signature dressings, wraps made with homemade, fat-free, whole wheat crepes, sandwiches served on artisan bread, and a gluten-free menu. Tossed promotes an "Eat Smart, Think Fresh" philosophy.

Tossed's new Chicago agreement further expands the chain's strong expansion surge that began late last year. Tossed has announced franchise agreements for new locations in Vancouver, British Columbia; Los Angeles; Orange County, California; Washington DC; and new locations in Boston.

"Chicago is one of America's great restaurant cities and an ideal market for Tossed," says Eric Schmitt, CEO of Tossed. "Chicagoans embrace great dining concepts—but more than that, they have a real affinity for wholesome, natural food and exceptional service. Tossed provides all these things, which is why we feel we will do very well in Chicago, a place that is so influential to Midwestern cuisine."

Sopha and partner Daniel Griffin, both experienced healthcare professionals, spent the last several years researching various franchise opportunities before beginning discussions with Tossed. They believe their first Tossed restaurant will fill a market need that is growing fast.

"Deciding what to grab for lunch should not be a hassle or inconvenience. If I asked you where to find a fresh, build-your-own salad with extremely fast service here in the Loop that won't drain your wallet, you'd be hard pressed to find one," Sopha says. "So we are going to change that. The health food movement in our country is getting bigger and stronger every year, and we are happy to help make Tossed and our great city of Chicago a part of it."

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, News, Tossed