WKS Bakery Cafe Inc. to Develop 15 Restaurants in Arizona
LAKEWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Valley of the Sun just got a little sweeter as entrepreneur and award-winning franchisee Roland Spongberg announced today plans to introduce a new neighbor to the residents of Phoenix. Corner Bakery Cafe, a fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in innovative breakfast items, salads, sandwiches and desserts, will join the WKS Bakery Cafe Inc. family to recreate the neighborhood cafe experience and bring its fresh, flavorful foods to the Grand Canyon State for the first time. Per the area development agreement, WKS Bakery Cafe Inc., a subsidiary of Spongberg's WKS Restaurant Group, will develop 15 Corner Bakery Cafe restaurants within the next seven years throughout the greater Phoenix area, the first of which is scheduled to open in Peoria, Ariz., in late 2008.
As president and CEO of WKS Bakery Cafe Inc., Spongberg is an industry leader in his own right with numerous investments in Maricopa County. He currently franchises and operates more than 50 El Pollo Loco restaurants and four Denny's diners in Southern California and Phoenix. In September 2007, Roland and his team, led by Vice President of Operations Nelson Amaya, were recognized by the International Franchise Association as Franchisee of the Year for their outstanding people practices, continued performance and contributions made to enhance and grow the nation's franchising industry.
"When it comes to franchise operations, there's only one tried-and-true ingredient necessary in the recipe for success. Location and growth potential are important, but it's the people that make the difference," said Spongberg. "Corner Bakery Cafe's best-in-class catering, impressive growth and unparalleled consumer appeal are a testament to the passion behind its outstanding workforce, and it's that workforce that will prove to be the most valuable resource in introducing the concept to the burgeoning Phoenix market."
Over the past 20 years, Spongberg's WKS Restaurant Corp. has grown from a single-unit El Pollo Loco operator to the largest franchisee within the system, currently boasting a 46 percent average unit increase in sales from El Pollo Loco restaurants purchased and brought into the WKS system. Passionate about his operations and the people that make each restaurant safe and successful, Spongberg rewards employees who strive for and succeed in maintaining top safety marks at their respective locations. One deserving employee wins a new car at Spongberg's annual holiday party each year, a prize that has done wonders for both workers' compensation and employee morale.
"With Phoenix's widespread population growth, infrastructure transformations and current ranking as ninth of the 15 U.S. commercial real estate markets to watch in 2008, we realized this is the perfect time to introduce Corner Bakery Cafe to Arizona," said P.J. Evans, vice president of franchise development for Corner Bakery Cafe. "We're always looking to attract potential franchise partners with relevant multi-unit restaurant experience who have earned 'best-in-class' recognition within their current system. Roland Spongberg epitomizes the enthusiasm, dedication and know-how we desire. He is the perfect fit for our brand."
Corner Bakery Cafe maintains the highest annual sales volume of any national bakery cafe brand with $2.2 million and boasts 22 straight quarters of positive same store sales.
CBC Restaurant Corp. launched a strategic franchise development program in October 2006. WKS Bakery Cafe Inc. marks CBC's seventh franchise partnership and the first in 2008, increasing the brand's total franchise commitments to 74 locations coast-to-coast.
Corner Bakery Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles/Orange County, Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington D.C. Established in 1991, Corner Bakery Cafe restaurants are owned and operated by CBC Restaurant Corp. with more than 100 locations around the country. Founded on a philosophy of creating a place for people to relax and gather with family and friends, Corner Bakery Cafe offers a casual atmosphere featuring innovative, seasonal menu options ranging from hot breakfasts and signature panini to handcrafted salads, sandwiches and mouthwatering sweets. Corner Bakery Cafe delivers a premier bakery cafe experience in the heart of neighborhoods everywhere. For more information, visit www.cornerbakerycafe.com.
WKS Bakery Cafe Inc., a subsidiary of WKS Restaurant Group, is based in Lakewood, Calif., and franchises and operates more than 50 El Pollo Loco restaurants and four Denny's diners in Phoenix and Southern California. WKS Restaurant Corporation has annual sales of more than $70 million.