Melt Shop is moving into a warmer market as part of its ambitious growth strategy.
The fast-casual restaurant chain has signed a multi-unit franchise development agreement to grow its footprint in Florida. In partnership with CFL EATZ LLC, Melt Shop will open six restaurants in Orlando and surrounding counties, including Osceola, Volusia and Polk, among others. The brand will open its first Florida location, at Sawgrass Mall in Sunrise, later this year.
In addition to expanding in the Orlando area, Melt Shop expects to open more than five locations later this year. The company is also propelling its nontraditional growth by opening up in malls throughout target regions such as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. (To date, more than half of Melt Shop's restaurants are located in nontraditional spaces.)
Since launching into franchising in September 2017, Melt Shop has added more than 35 restaurants to the pipeline. The company said it remains well ahead of its goal to open 100 locations by 2023.
Melt Shop’s partner in the Orlando area is CFL EATZ LLC, whose principal owner is Bob Picerne. His portfolio includes Five Guys restaurants, airport concessions at Orlando International Airport and more than 10,000 apartment units across the country.
“We've always believed that our brand would be the perfect fit for Florida, and we're excited to partner with Bob Picerne and his team," said Josh Morgan, COO of Melt Shop. "Orlando remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and the local population continues to grow at a rapid pace. Our Florida restaurants will be located in destination hotspots and in some of the busiest malls in the country.”
Melt Shop currently operates 15 locations in and around New York City, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Delaware and New Jersey.