Old Chicago Plans to Open Nearly Two Dozen New Restaurants
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom announced that it signed franchise development agreements with three of its existing franchise partners to open nearly two dozen new restaurants. These agreements will grow Old Chicago's footprint across eight states, including Tennessee, South Carolina, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi.
"We're thrilled to be continuing nationwide expansion with franchise partners who have been committed to accelerating the growth and success of Old Chicago," says Mark A. Belanger, CFE, vice president of global franchise operations and development for CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., operating company of Old Chicago. "We're continuing to make significant investments into our company that reinforce Old Chicago's growth potential and position our franchisees for success, so that they ultimately want to expand their portfolio and introduce Old Chicago to new markets. These agreements are a testament to the strength of our evolving business model and exceptional offerings, and we look forward to developing new Old Chicago locations across the country."
Among existing franchise groups to sign new agreements are The Collier Group, who will be developing seven additional Old Chicago locations in South Carolina and Tennessee; The Johnson Group, who has plans to bring three restaurants to Wyoming and Montana; and The Nursariwala Group, who will be expanding their portfolio with six new locations in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi.
"It's an exciting time to be part of the Old Chicago family, as we propel Old Chicago's national expansion efforts forward," adds AJ Nursariwala, principal of The Nursariwala Group and Old Chicago franchisee. "Old Chicago is a strong concept and based on the success we've been seeing in our Joplin restaurant, the company is poised for tremendous growth over the next several years. I've seen firsthand the company's commitment to its franchisees and am eager to continue the relationship with the development of my new restaurants. I look forward to being part of the brand's continued success and becoming an integral part of the communities we will serve."
Nursariwala has been an Old Chicago franchisee for just over a year, and currently operates a location in Joplin, Missouri. His first restaurant under the new development deal is slated to open in Rogers, Arkansas, in 2017.
Old Chicago experienced record-breaking success in 2015 achieving $254 million in system-wide revenue, and is currently reporting 27 consecutive months of positive comp sales. Old Chicago also launched its new restaurant prototype—a 5,000 square feet build with an additional 1,000—1,200 square feet of outdoor patio space, a new kitchen and upgraded bar technology. To further enhance the experience, the company has also updated its training programs and guest proven menu categories.
A growing brand with over 16 years of successful franchise partnerships, Old Chicago is an established multi-unit concept with proven processes to support franchisees with site selection, lease agreements, facility design, operational training and marketing. To fuel franchise growth, the company is seeking multi-unit operators with business, management and foodservice and/or restaurant experience, and a passion for and commitment to exceptional customer service.