JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Loop Pizza Grill announced a 10-year plan to open 25 franchises in Atlanta and Athens, Ga.
According to The Business Journal, the 23-store chain is looking to cash in on the increasing popularity of the "fast-casual" dining segment and increase its presence in the Southeast. Loop entered into a development contract with Steve Maxwell, president and owner of Maxwell Properties, to develop the Atlanta-area stores.
"Steve has a summer house in Amelia Island (Fla.) and really enjoyed eating at The Loop one day," said Mike Schneider, founder and co-owner of the Jacksonville-based chain. "So he called us and it led to this."
Schneider told the newspaper Loop franchises go for about $450,000 to $500,000. The deal with Maxwell was for between $11 million and $12 million, he said.
"The only real difference between the Atlanta market and the Jacksonville market is size," Schneider said. "But we think that's a big enough factor to gain us national and international exposure."
Of the 23 locations, Schneider and his wife, Terry, own seven.
The plan is to open two Atlanta Loops in 2003 and build progressively, depending on success, the newspaper reported.
"I think they'll start slow and then see where we should go," Schneider said.