Industry News | September 20, 2011

Uno's Inks Biggest Franchise Deal in History for Fast Casual

image used with permission.

In the largest franchise deal in its 68-year history, Uno’s announced plans for the opening of 30 locations of Uno Dué Go, its fast-casual concept, throughout Texas by FGR Food Corporation. The units will be built in multiple trade channels including suburban locations, airports, hospitals, and stadiums. This expansion represents substantial growth for Uno’s as the first major franchise deal of the highly successful, three-year-old, fast-casual concept.

Founded 14 years ago, Dallas-based FGR owns and operates multiple franchise concepts in Dallas. FGR opened the first two franchise Uno Dué Go restaurants in December of 2008 in the Dallas Fort-Worth airport and has seen tremendous success from both locations. Since then, another major franchisee, the Compass Group, opened two college locations at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and Cleveland State University.

“We took a chance on Uno Dué Go because we had faith in the concept and in the intelligent strategic business partner we had in Uno’s,” says Rob Goldblatt, COO of FGR. “This time around, it’s a proven concept for us. It is a strong return on investment—we have seen three years of double-digit growth and excellent operating results since the day we opened. We are thrilled to be introducing more of Texas to the great tastes and hospitality of Uno Dué Go.”

Uno Dué Go focuses on organic, natural, and locally sourced ingredients, and a style that appeals to both the busy customer who is looking for fresh, high quality food to take out and the lingering guest who is looking for a place to settle in, get comfortable and enjoy great food in a relaxing atmosphere. Both made-to-order and ready-to-go menu items are presented in a fusion retail display.

While it serves the deep dish, thin crust, and gluten-free pizza Uno’s is famous for, it is a brand unto itself with most of the menu items unique to Uno Dué Go. Some of the more distinctive menu items include a prosciutto, fig, and Vermont cheddar sourdough bread Panini; the Tum Yum chopped vegetable salad; a vegetarian black bean burger wrap; and what the Uno’s team has dubbed “the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich.” A handful of the menu items are interesting twists on Uno’s favorites with a flavor all their own, such as the multigrain harvest pizza and the seasonal apple, bacon, and Vermont Cabot cheddar pizza.

Because of Uno’s focus on nutrition and caring for guests with food allergies, a comprehensive guide to all menu items and ingredients will be available on an electronic kiosk in each location.

“Uno Dué Go is a special café with its own style and flavor, not just a trimmed down version of Uno’s,” says Frank Guidara, president and CEO of Uno’s and creator of the Uno Dué Go concept. “FGR saw the uniqueness of the concept from the very beginning and because the concept has now proven to be profitable for them, they are looking to quickly grow the brand across the great state of Texas. We are thrilled to make Uno’s history with FGR, who is already an exceptional partner and whose franchise pedigree is outstanding.”

FGR is already identifying locations and will be building within the year. Uno’s is talking to additional franchisees and expects this to be the first in a series of Uno Dué Go franchise announcements. The FGR deal is just a piece of Uno’s overall growth story. Uno’s has new full-service restaurants opening both domestically and internationally, and is gaining momentum in its quick service concept, Uno Express, and its consumer packaged foods line, Uno Foods.

 

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