Washington, D.C.-based toast and juice concept Toastique is bringing its unique spin on the fast-casual health food trend to new locales with a rigorous franchising push. The company has opened five locations already in 2023 and has franchising agreements for 27 additional locations coming soon, including its first location in California, opening this fall in Newport Beach.
With 19 locations in its portfolio already, Toastique has stood out to franchisees looking to enter the highly competitive limited-service health food space by offering more than just smoothies and juices (though those are certainly on the menu as well). The menu boasts multiple social media-worthy gourmet toast options that go beyond the typical avocado toast, including a burrata with tomatoes option, and even heartier fare that feels like an open-faced sandwich, like the three-cheese Italian toast.
“We get asked a lot who our competitors are, but I don’t think we really have any competitors,” founder Brianna Keefe said. “Maybe toast is trendy, but no one ever puts their full focus on it…. It’s not just a side piece of toast, it’s a whole meal that looks beautiful and is fresh, which is not what people are used to. On top of that, we have the whole juice bar aspect, so…it really lends itself to a wider demographic.”
Toastique began franchising in 2019, just one year after the company was founded. The company is well on its way toward hitting 40 units by this time next year, and recently boasted 40% year-over-year same-store sales growth. New locations are opening soon in Tampa and Sarasota, Fla., Virginia Beach, and Dallas. Next year, the goal is to enter hot and emerging markets including Nashville, Charlotte, San Jose, Los Angeles, Michigan, Omaha, Austin, Atlanta, San Antonio, and Las Vegas, mainly through franchising.
Toastique appeals to franchisees with both its unique concept and small footprint, which is around 1,200-1,400-square-feet but can do $1 million in sales.
“The most exciting part about going into new markets is finding different clientele who probably have never heard of the concept,” Keefe said. “We have to really analyze the demographics and figure out how to reach that community and get the word out… It's easier to go into a tried and true market. So it’s challenging, but also exciting.”
Although Toastique’s team is looking forward to entering new markets, they are more people-focused, as opposed to location-focused, which makes finding the right fit for potential franchisee partners such an important step.
“People that bring their own time, money, and energy [to the brand] have to care as much as we do,” Kyle Izett, CFO and director of construction of Toastique said. “We are looking for partners that will help grow the brand. Every store we have is rated 4.5 stars or better. So even though we have a lot of stores coming on board, we’re looking at quality of partners over quantity.”
Besides expansion, what else can we expect from Toastique moving forward? The company just recently added cocktails and vegan soft serve to its menus at select locations, with fresh juices serving as a base for drinks like a spicy margarita.