Sunday, May 18, 2014

Several up-and-coming restaurants targeting Florida for growth

LAS VEGAS--Several retail and restaurant chains are looking to expand into Florida this year, as long as they can find the right deal.

A summer Retail & Restaurant Expansion Guide published by Cassidy Turley shows both what mainstay companies are looking to do and up-and-coming restaurants and stores that are ready to grow.

As much as there are mom-and-pop restaurants, Florida is a breeding ground for chain restaurants. You have companies like Hooter’s, Outback, Bonefish Grill, Red Lobster, First Watch, PDQ and others all get their start here before going national.

Here is a run-down of who’s looking to come to Florida or grow beyond what they already have here. Which ones would you like to see in the Bradenton area?
  • Burger 21. Founded by Melting Post owners, it’s a new burger concept that has 12 locations open plus 18 franchise locations with several in Florida. Sarasota Melting Pot franchise owners Barry Berkowitz and Brian Marshall signed on to develop a Sarasota location but so far no movement.
  • Chuck’s Steakhouse. The Ft. Lauderdale steakhouse has been around since 1959 and opened one new location last year bringing its total up to 13 and would like to grow nationally.
  • Chuy’s Tex-Mex. The chain has 50 locations with three more planned for this year and wants “strong growth” in Florida as it also eyes California, Indiana and Virginia.
  • The Counter Burger. Based in Culver City, Calif., this family restaurant known for custom built burgers serves about 100 and has 15 locations planned this year and wants to continue in Florida.  It has locations in Aventura, Miami International Airport and Naples.
  • Elevation Burger. The Arlington, Va., company do fast casual burgers in shopping center locations and has 46 restaurants so far with 15 planned this year, including in Florida. Its only Sunshine State location is Miami Lakes.
  • F20.  Short for Fresh To Order, this new restaurant has 11 locations in Georgia and Tennessee and has two planned in the coming year, setting its sights on Florida and North Carolina. Its first Florida location is now open in Waterford Lakes—east of Orlando.
  • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. Based in Charlotte, N.C., this restaurant has 36 locations so far since starting in 2000. The company recently expanded into Florida and are looking for more locations and have 10 planned for this year. They seat around 200 and the average per person check ranges $10 to $30.
  • Flame Broiler. Its recently opened Orlando restaurant is the chains’ third Florida locations, with about 150 restaurants around the country and plans for three new locations this year. Two other Florida locations are in Jacksonville.
  • Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. Based in Centennial, Col., this Mediterranean restaurant has 30 locations with 20 planned this year. Its first Florida location opened November 2013 in Boca Raton and has plans for Miami-Dade and Broward counties so far.
  • Girraffas. Making the jump from Brazil, the grilled burgers and steak restaurant is going global and opened its first U.S. locations in Ft. Lauderdale a few years ago and added a second location there along with another now open in Coral Springs. Girraffas wants to continue growing in the southeast.
  • Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. The brick-oven pizza joint already has three locations in Tampa Bay and the Scottsdale, Ariz., company wants to grow with five locations in the coming year, beyond its 31 established locations.
  • Hot Head Burritos. The Kettering, Ohio, burrito joint wants to dominate Florida after having 58 locations open, with 10 planned in the coming year. Its only Florida location is in Mary Esther.
  • Leoni’s Pizzeria. They’re small, but the Fort Myers company has big ambitions to grow. They have also have a location in Naples and recently entered North Carolina. They’ve been around since 1956. What took so long?
  • Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. Based in Maryville, Tenn., the chain already has several Florida locations including St. Petersburg and Tampa though they only have 28 locations in the U.S.
  • Mooyah Burger & Fries. This brand-new company wants to start off with 60 locations in the next 12 months, including Florida, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. It wants to open 450 restaurants in 10 years.
  • Nature’s Table CafĂ©. Based in Orlando, the fast casual chain has been in business since 1978 and recently moved into our nation’s capital. Two new locations are planned this year and look for more in Florida as well as other states.
  • Pizza Patron. The cheeky Dallas-based company makes headlines in addition to pies. The company’s Spanish language ad was banned from radio networks in the Dallas market because well, they weren’t in English. Pizza Patron has 105 locations with plans for 25 more this year.
  • RedBrick Pizza. The brick oven pizza company says they can cook your pizza in three minutes. Based in California, RedBrick already plopped down in Naples, Destin and Panama City Beach.
  • Shula Burger. With five restaurants so far, legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula wants to grow beyond Florida and into major metro areas. The Shula restaurants are based in Ft. Lauderdale and its only Gulf Coast location is inside Tampa International Airport.
  • The Tin Fish. The fast casual seafood restaurant known for localizing its menus  only has 12 locations and has two planned this year and wants to grow in Florida, California, Indiana and Minnesota. They have locations in Okeechobee, two in Port St. Lucie and another in West Palm Beach.
  • YaYa’s Flame Broiled Chicken. Has 14 locations and plans for two new restaurants in coming years and looks to grow in Florida and Michigan. YaYa’s is in Clearwater and St. Petersburg so far in the Sunshine State.
  • Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar. The Arizona-based burger restaurant has three locations planned for this year, including one at the Mall at University Town Center, and wants to expand in South Florida. Zinburger has 45 restaurants nationwide.

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