Villa Enterprises, a global multi-brand restaurant operator and franchisor, announced it has signed a deal with Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. to open 40 Villa Italian Kitchen quick-serve restaurants in regional malls throughout the U.S.

“We’ve been aggressively expanding the footprint of our Villa Italian Kitchen brand over the past several years, and this new partnership is the ideal opportunity for us to continue introducing our brand in new markets,” says Villa Enterprises’ CEO, Anthony Scotto. “As a privately held company, we’re positioned to swiftly respond to opportunities such as this and are able to tap our vendor network to open multiple units quickly.”

Starting with its first pizzeria in New York City 50 years ago, the company’s Villa Italian Kitchen flagship brand now has more than 250 locations worldwide. As part of a rebranding in 2012, Villa Italian Kitchen introduced a new prototype that pays homage to its Italian heritage and original recipes.

“Villa Italian Kitchen and GGP have a long-standing and valued relationship. Their unique Scotto family recipes have been enjoyed by customers for many years. Villa Italian Kitchen joins a growing list of restaurants and retailers expanding their concepts and doing so in high-quality malls. This deal covers nearly a third of our portfolio and allows us to introduce Villa to a broader customer base, which I am sure the customers will enjoy,” says Alan Barocas, senior executive vice president of leasing for General Growth Properties Inc.

Over the past several years, Villa Enterprises has focused on multiunit opportunities, expansion of management services, the creation of new restaurant concepts in response to market demand, and international growth with a focus on the Middle East and South America. Today, the company’s portfolio has grown to include ten quick-serve brands with more than 330 locations worldwide.

The company is managing and outfitting entire food courts within malls, outlet centers, casinos, and airports throughout the U.S. including Sands Casino and Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe, Arizona, among others.

“We offer our partners a wealth of expertise, resources and consumer insights as we consider expansion opportunities nationwide,” says Villa Enterprises’ senior vice president of business development, Adam Torine.

News, Villa Italian Kitchen