Baja Fresh operator to franchise Freshii's

CHICAGO Baja Fresh franchisee Goel Management has acquired the master franchise rights for fast-casual chain Freshii in the Philadelphia area.

Goel, which franchises 12 Baja Fresh locations as well as Verizon Wireless retail stores, said it plans to open at least 30 Freshii units in the area.

Noting that Philadelphia "has surprisingly few healthy eating options compared to other large cities," Goel Management chief executive Sumeet Goel called Freshii "the perfect fit" for the city.

He also said Freshii startup costs "are half of anything else I've seen with similar volumes," and went on to say the concept is simple to operate with lower food and labor costs. He said Freshii's flexibility also allows for expansion into traditional and nontraditional sites.

Chicago-based Freshii, which was founded in Toronto in 2005, offers a menu of build-your-own soups, salads, wraps and rice bowls. The chain has 16 restaurants operating in the United States and Canada, and says it has another 100 in development.

Freshii chief executive Matthew Corrin called Goel "our target franchisee -- a successful, large multiunit franchisee of another high-volume restaurant franchise that is looking to expand his portfolio with a noncompeting concept."

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected] [3].