February 25, 2009 // Franchising.com // West Redding, CT, — Sandella's Flatbread Café recently opened its first location in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai, the most populous city in the UAE, has responded quite well to the new store. This location marks the beginning of Sandella's major international expansion plans. Sandella's Flatbread Café is the largest flatbread concept in the world with more than 130 locations. Each healthy and delicious menu item is based around its famous flatbread. Sandella's currently has more than 400 restaurants in development across the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates.
The first Sandella's Flatbread in Dubai is located on the American University of Dubai's campus and opened mid January 2009.
"This is the first step in our development plans for the entire Middle East market," says Sandella's Founder and CEO, Mike Stimola. "Opening on a college campus first is the same strategy we used in the U.S. The results have been great. After the first month of being open, we have seen that customers in Dubai are purchasing the same product mix that we sell in the U.S., with the Chicken Tuscan Panini and Brazilian Chicken Grilled Flatbread being two of the most popular menu items. This gives us added confidence that Sandella's plan to be a global brand is on the right track."
Sandella's Flatbread Café incorporates the hottest trends in the fast casual segment, serving fresh, hot and healthy menu items such as grilled flatbreads, paninis, sandwiches, chopped salads, rice bowls and quesadillas – all made with their own delicious brick-oven, low calorie, fat free flatbread. Already ahead of its time, Sandella's menu is trans-fat free and listed in the Weight Watchers Points Guide.
Restaurants average 1,000-1,500 square feet and seat 30 to 40 guests.
Founded in 1994 in West Redding Connecticut, Sandella's Flatbread Café is an upscale fast casual café with easy to execute menu items – everything is made in four steps or less, with no hoods and no mess. Sandella's serves premium-quality, health-conscious and great tasting grilled flatbreads, sandwiches, paninis, quesadillas, chopped salads and rice bowls – all made using their signature delicious, brick oven flatbread. Sandella's was listed in Fast Casual Magazine's Top 100 Movers & Shakers in 2007 and 2008 and in Restaurants and Institutions Top 400 Restaurant Chains in 2007 and 2008. With more than 130 locations across the U.S., Sandella's is rapidly expanding and shows no signs of slowing with 400 restaurants in development across the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates.