Meal-on-a-Stick Concept Gets Thumbs Up from Food Critics, Franchising Experts
January 09, 2008 // Franchising.com // Roswell, GA. – Here's two simple words for all those skeptics who say they've seen it all, or that there's no room for "new" in the crowded fast-casual segment: "stick it."
Before taking offense, the innocent sarcasm refers to Justix, a ground-breaking, fun, mix-and-match fast-casual franchise specializing in freshly grilled USDA beef and pork, all-natural chicken, organic tofu, veggies and salmon served on wooden skewers, with a choice of 13 original sauces and dip that can be combined with a variety of fresh vegetable or rice side dishes. "Sticking" to its theme, even desserts such as chocolate-dipped cheesecake or brownie stix are served on a skewer. The concept draws equal lunch and dinner crowds, as well as catering business.
Backed by some of the nation's most creative culinary experts and franchise savvy investors in the industry, the founders and franchisors of Justix are focusing on a strategic growth plan that calls for 10-12 new franchises in 2008 in the Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte markets, as well as throughout California. The Justix concept was founded by John and Cindy Lupi, experienced co-owners/operators of full service high-end restaurants and resorts in Georgia. Their goal with Justix was to create a "built-to-franchise" operation that applies the principles of fine-dining to fast-casual.
With the flagship location in Georgia earning loyal crowds and rave reviews from even the most persnickety of food critics, and a franchise location flourishing in Georgetown, KY, Justix has captured the interest of franchising moguls who recognize its significant growth potential.
Franchising Concepts, a powerful development company that grows successful regional franchise brands into major national chains, has invested 42 percent ownership with the founders of Justix. Franchising Concepts is led by CEO Mike Lassiter, a former successful Area Developer for Schlotzsky's Deli who has launched seven new franchise companies and/or franchise related companies. Lassiter has successful multi-unit management experience spanning almost 25 years as a franchisee, franchisor and area developer.
"Mark my words, Justix is onto something huge," Lassiter said. "Justix is the future of fast casual. I've been in the franchising world for a long time, and Justix has what it takes to explode: a truly unique cuisine, an untapped niche, and ease of operation for any entrepreneur. As a built-to-franchise concept, everything from the food suppliers, to the purchasing system, to hiring employees, training and retention techniques, all contribute to the Justix success formula."
Justix also enjoys a partnership relationship with The Findley Group, headed by Gary Findley, the former Curves International president credited with growing the nation's largest women's-only fitness chain to 8,000 units. The partnership calls for a four-tier plan to enhance service and support to franchisees, strengthen leadership, and carefully grow the brands through unit sales.
With an educational background in design and arts, Justix co-founder Cindy Lupi's professional creative touch can be felt in everything from the bright neon orange and yellow walls to the classy exposed warehouse-feel décor, while husband/co-founder John Lupi's culinary skills and creativity is apparent in the innovative make-your-own meal approach. At Justix, guests enjoy the freedom of choice: they can opt to pick three of the same stix, or mix and match their choice of meats, poultry, fish or tofu, and then visit the high-tech, self-service sauce bar equipped with a dozen pumps for their dipping pleasure.
"By making healthy eating a fun experience, every store that opens is just one step closer to our goal of creating a healthier society," said Cindy Lupi. "We're blessed to have the backing of some of the most experienced talented people associated in franchising. Both Mike Lassiter and Gary Findley not only believe in our mission, but they have the connections and support to help make it happen. Franchisees who invest in Justix are part of a greater mission of paving a healthier path for consumers."
Founded in 2005, Justix turned a centuries-old method of cooking – grilled meats and vegetables served on skewers – into a unique dining experience. Its inherently low-carb, low-starch menu features fresh, grilled skewers of USDA beef and pork, all-natural chicken, farm-raised salmon, organic tofu and fresh vegetables with a choice of creatively-named made from scratch sauces, as well as fresh salads, wraps and desserts served on a stick. Justix serves dine-in and take out customers, in addition to catering services. Visit www.justix.com for more information.
About Franchising Concepts
Founded in 2002, Franchising Concepts partners with proven businesses to develop and implement a customized franchising program to meet business growth objectives. For more information about Justix and other franchising opportunities, please visit www.franchisingconcepts.com.
About Findley Group
Findley Group is a strategic partner to franchise businesses providing customized solutions through all phases of a franchise's development. For more information about franchising opportunities for Justix and other concepts, please visit www.FindleyGroup.com.