Sbarro has announced a franchise agreement to open 15 restaurants in the state of Maharashtra in India. Upper Crust Foods Pvt. Ltd. will develop and operate the restaurants with the first unit to open in Mumbai this month.

Throughout the past six years, Sbarro has announced international agreements with franchisees to open restaurants in Europe, Russia, Asia, India, the Middle East, South and Central America and Caribbean.

The India grand opening marks the first Sbarro to open in Mumbai, an emerging market that is home to an increasing number of metropolitan areas, malls and entertainment centers.

"We could not be more pleased to partner with Rashmi and Manoj Balwani to expand Sbarro's presence in India. Now is a time of tremendous growth and opportunity in the region and Rashmi and Manoj bring deep expertise in India's burgeoning QSR sector and a proven track record," said Jim Greco, president and CEO of Sbarro. "Over the past six years, Sbarro has significantly increased its international footprint, a credit to the depth and breadth of expertise of our international team and our focus on serving as a true partner to our franchisees."

While the new restaurants' menu will be created from over 200 Sbarro recipes that consumers enjoy worldwide, certain adjustments will be made to suit the cultural and religious customs of India.

Rashmi Balwani, MD, of Upper Crust Foods, said she used to frequent Sbarro when she lived in New York.

"It is a moment of great pride for me to be opening the first outlet of my favorite Italian food chain in Mumbai," she said. "I am sure that with the quality of the cooking and the ingredients, Sbarro's first outlet in Chembur neighborhood will become a favorite among the people living in and around these areas. I also look forward to expanding the franchise, both in Mumbai and then in other parts of Maharashtra."

Based in Melville, N.Y., Sbarro has more than 1,000 restaurants in more than 40 countries.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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