Industry News | July 15, 2008

UFood Grill Announces Nationwide Expansion Plan

UFood Grill today announced the kick-off of an aggressive nationwide expansion plan beginning with the opening of the Chicago, Illinois, franchise on July 30 and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport franchise in October.

UFood Grill takes a back-to-basics approach to healthy cooking, where everything served is rooted in quality--from choice, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free meats to natural and organic ingredients, fresh produce, whole grains, and light cheeses and dressings.

"The UFood approach could not be more relevant given the national desire for great-tasting, healthy fast food options," says UFood CEO George Naddaff. "In light of larger health issues, healthy dining options are in high demand, and our continued growth will help fill a void in the fast-casual segment."

The result of a three-year development program from a team of restaurant veterans, UFood Grill is led by Chairman and CEO George Naddaff , best known as the founder of Boston Market, and President and COO Charlie Cocotas, formerly the president of Boston Chicken and CEO of TCBY. Former Culinary Institute of America Associate Dean and nutritional educator, Gregory Fatigati, developed a menu combining healthier versions of classic fast food fare with items that intend to redefine how people think of quick serve dining. In addition, UFood Grill's major shareholder, heavy weight champion George Foreman, serves as the company spokesman to assist in overall company awareness.

Launched in 1999 as LoFat/NoFat, it quickly became a neighborhood favorite known for providing healthy fast food. In 2004, after driving by and seeing a line out the door, franchise "guru" George Naddaff acquired the concept and renamed it KnowFat! Lifestyle Grille. Realizing the restaurant had a much wider reach beyond fitness enthusiasts, Naddaff evolved the healthy fast food concept and reshaped it. He renamed it UFood Grill and redesigned the customer experience. The new version infuses a bright decor with fresh colors and a more serene atmosphere. UFood Grill remains committed to providing better-for-you food, but now it is delivered in a more mainstream way.

There are currently three UFood Grill units in the U.S.: Boston's Logan International Airport; Roseville, California; and Naples, Florida. The company plans to convert five KnowFat! Lifestyle Grills located in Boston to UFood Grills this summer. Franchise units will open in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, California, Florida, Utah, Montana, Idaho, and Texas.

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