With 20 years of experience operating multiple Krystal restaurant locations in north Florida, Kevin Gartner is expanding his franchise operation portfolio signing on to develop five Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint locations. Bringing the fast-casual pizza chain to Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida, the company plans to open its first Uncle Maddio’s location in Jacksonville in late 2014.

“We looked into a number of fast-casual restaurant franchises and selected Uncle Maddio’s because the team has perfected the create-your-own pizza concept,” says Kevin Gartner, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint franchisee. “Uncle Maddio’s consistently delivers delicious pizzas, paninis, and salads, exceeding customer experience expectations—every time and at every location.”

A member of the Krystal’s franchise advisory council for 20 years, Gartner says he appreciates the transparency and systems developed by the Uncle Maddio’s franchise team. His team includes 165 employees and will use the 65 years of combined experience of this operation and administrative team, which will work with both concepts. Each new Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint location employs 25–30 employees.

“The value of a franchisor is their ability to set up their franchisees up for success,” Gartner says. “The Uncle Maddio’s systems are a proven formula for the success of their franchisees. The Uncle Maddio’s team delivers phenomenal support developing the menu, recipes, promotions and new ideas, allowing franchisees to focus on operations and customer service.”

Building on the combined success of Matt Andrew with his experience as co-founder of Moe’s Southwest Grill, the Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint team aims to provide the choices that consumers desire. The menu includes healthy alternatives with organic, gluten-free, and whole-wheat ingredients. Classic indulgent flavors for pizza and panini sandwiches are available.

“Uncle Maddio’s serves healthy, fresh, flavorful pizzas, salads and paninis at affordable prices,” Gartner says.

Uncle Maddio’s operates 18 restaurants in six states. The Atlanta-based franchise is projecting to open 35 new units in 2014 with 165 additional locations already in development.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, News, Pizza, Uncle Maddio's