June 27, 2008 // Franchising.com // Tucson, AZ – Executives of Rising Roll Gourmet, the renowned gourmet sandwich concept focusing on the 30-minute business lunch and catering, has teamed up with local franchisor Scot Wilson to roll out an aggressive expansion plan to open 15 locations in the Phoenix market in the next few years.
With each Rising Roll Gourmet location employing a staff of approximately 10, the expansion has the potential to add 150 new jobs to the Arizona restaurant industry.
As a former Marine Corp officer and 25-year veteran in financial services who regularly works with business owners, Wilson saw the potential of the Rising Roll Gourmet business model after visiting the company's headquarters in Atlanta.
"I believe that the concept will become a must-have in the Phoenix market based on the size of the Valley and the demographics of the area," said Wilson. "Consumers are always looking for healthy, convenient eating, and Rising Roll Gourmet provides that."
Although still largely undiscovered in the Phoenix market, Rising Roll Gourmet has attracted a loyal following in the Southeast with its menu of 50 different gourmet sandwiches, salads and exclusive daily soups. Now, the company announced that Phoenix is a prime target for expansion based on research showing an ideal match in the areas population and demographics.
"We are thrilled to have Scot Wilson on board to bring Rising Roll Gourmet into Arizona," said Mike Lassiter, president of Rising Roll Gourmet. "Based on exceptional reviews from local businesses that have used our lunch catering services, and demographic research, we've made a strategic decision to expand with at least 15 new locations. We've found ideal sites; now, we're just seeking the right franchise partners."
In addition to consistent walk-in traffic, Rising Roll Gourmet enjoys a steady revenue stream from recurring lunch catering orders from local businesses and corporations. The company serves as the premier caterer in each of its existing markets around the country, with a variety of fresh platters, boxed lunches and desserts – complete with paper plates, napkins, utensils, serving spoons, condiments and cups, ice and lemons with drink orders. Even large, last-minute orders can be prepared in 15 minutes.
The typical Rising Roll Gourmet location is 2,200 square feet and can be either a stand alone store, or in a shopping center. The smaller square footage equals a more affordable investment and overall lower costs versus competitor store fees. The company provides new franchisees with step-by-step and ongoing training, both on-site and at corporate headquarters. Included in the support is assistance with site selection, facility layout, and other guidance to help them run a successful business.
"For us, our strongest attribute for franchisees is the quality of life hours," said Lassiter. "Our system focus is on the 30-minute business lunch, and our hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, which allows for a significant lifestyle advantage for franchise owners that is unusual in the restaurant segment."
Rising Roll Gourmet is one of several franchise concepts that partners 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 between Rising Roll Gourmet and The Findley Group calls for a four-tier plan to boost brand exposure, enhance service and support to franchisees, strengthen leadership, and grow the brand through unit sales.
Rising Roll Gourmet, founded in 1996, began offering franchises in 2003. Rising Roll prides itself on serving outstanding, quality food – fast. Founded by father and son team, Bob and Jeff Weiss, Rising Roll uses a simple formula of tasty family recipes, fresh ingredients, and exceptional service to stand out to lunch time crowds across the nation. With currently 13 stores open and 35 territories sold, Rising Roll Gourmet is set to be the next 'rising' star in the fast-casual, restaurant industry.