Uno's fast casual model inks largest franchise deal in company history

Sept. 20, 2011

In the largest franchise deal in its 68-year history, Uno's has announced plans for the opening of 30 locations of Uno Due Go, its fast casual concept, throughout Texas. The deal was signed by FGR Food Corporation, which owns and operates multiple franchise concepts in Dallas.

The units will be built in multiple trade channels including suburban locations, airports, hospitals and stadiums. This expansion represents Uno's first major franchise deal of its 3-year-old fast casual concept.

Founded 14 years ago, FGR opened the first two Uno Due Go restaurants in December of 2008 in the Dallas Fort-Worth airport and has seen success from both locations. Since then, another franchisee, the Compass Group, opened two college locations at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and Cleveland State University.

"We took a chance on Uno Due Go because we had faith in the concept and in the intelligent strategic business partner we had in Uno's," said Rob Goldblatt, COO of FGR. "This time around, it's a proven concept for us. It is a strong return on investment – we have seen three years of double-digit growth and excellent operating results since the day we opened. We are thrilled to be introducing more of Texas to the great tastes and hospitality of Uno Due Go."

Uno Due Go focuses on organic, natural and locally-sourced ingredients, and includes made-to-order and ready-to-go menu items.

In addition to serving pizza that Uno's is known for, some of Uno Due Go's signatures include a prosciutto, fig and Vermont cheddar sourdough bread Panini, the Tum Yum chopped vegetable salad and a vegetarian black bean burger. Some items provide a twist on Uno's favorites, such as the multi-grain harvest pizza and the seasonal apple, bacon and Vermont Cabot cheddar pizza.

To focus on nutrition and food allergy concerns, a comprehensive guide to all menu items and ingredients will be available on an electronic kiosk in each location.

"Uno Due Go is a special cafe with its own style and flavor, not just a trimmed down version of Uno's," said Frank Guidara, president and CEO of Uno's and creator of the Uno Due Go concept.

FGR is already identifying locations and will be building within the year. Uno's is talking to additional franchisees and expects this to be the first in a series of Uno Due Go franchise announcements.

Read more on franchising and growth.

Topics: Food & Beverage , Franchising & Growth , Operations Management

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