Go Roma will focus its initial expansion on locations throughout the upper Midwest, according to Jeff Drake, president of Go Roma. The company, which launched a franchise program in December, is pursuing franchise agreements with multi-unit operators, restaurant and retail executives who will open 5 to 10 restaurants in their respective territories.

PJ Evans, an industry veteran with more than 25 years experience leading franchise programs for top casual and fast casual concepts, joined Go Roma in September 2011 to launch and manage the concept’s new franchise development program.

“In 2013-2014, we expect to open locations throughout Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; Indianapolis, Indiana; Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the southern suburbs of Illinois,” Evans said.

Today, Go Roma has six locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Average unit volumes are $1.3 million in a 2,500-3,000-square-foot retail space, which is achieved through a balanced business of lunch, dinner, catering and carry out.

Go Roma was founded in 2004 by Go Roma’s president, Jeff Drake, formerly a Corner Bakery operations executive, and Lettuce Entertain You senior management alumni, David Wolfgram, who shares a passion for great Italian food. Go Roma is owned by Boudin Holdings Inc., a portfolio company of GESD Capital Partners. Wolfgram is CEO of Go Roma and Boudin Holdings Inc. GESD is a San Francisco-based private equity firm that funds consumer, restaurant and entertainment brands.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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