UFood Restaurant Group Inc., a franchisor and operator of fast-casual food restaurants and nutritional product retail stores, today announced that the first location in the Chicago metropolitan area has broken ground at 200 West Jackson Street. This is the first of five locations to be developed and operated by franchisee Carl Dissette. The franchisee has an extensive background opening restaurants such as International House of Pancakes and Jimmy John’s. The grand opening is expected to be this August. In addition, a lease has been signed for the second location of UFood Grill at 823 South State Street. This location is also expected to break ground shortly.

“We continue to follow our business model, penetrating the metro-plex hubs throughout the country to leverage our UFood brand for maximum visibility,” says George Naddaff, chairman and CEO of UFood Grill.

The fast-casual dining segment is led by companies such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread Company, and caters to customers who desire the convenience of a fast-food chain and are willing to pay a premium for higher quality, differentiated menu items.