Salsarita's Fresh Cantina Launches North Carolina Expansion Plan

Rapidly Growing Fresh-Mexican Franchise Hosts Franchising Seminar on March 4th in Charlotte, NC

CHARLOTTE, NC--(Marketwire - February 12, 2010) - Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, one of the nation's fastest growing, fast-casual Mexican restaurant chains, is continuing to expand its national footprint with today's announcement it is launching an aggressive expansion plan in North Carolina and the upstate of South Carolina. Markets targeted within the state for franchise development include Charlotte and surrounding cities from Gastonia to Concord, the metro regions of Raleigh, Durham, Asheville and Winston-Salem as well as the Greenville - Spartanburg region of South Carolina.

In order to share information about Salsarita's and its expansion opportunities in North Carolina, the company is hosting a franchising seminar on March 4, 2010 at the Lake Point Salsarita's at 2908 Oak Lake Blvd. from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. To register for the event and learn more, please contact Tim Carter at (704) 540-9447 or tcarter@salsaritas.com.

"Salsarita's is setting its sights on building a nationally competitive franchise brand, and we're looking for qualified candidates with foodservice, operations and real estate experience in Charlotte and the surrounding regions to join our team," said Paul Mangiamele, president and CEO, Salsarita's Fresh Cantina. "We invite interested parties to attend our franchising seminar to learn more about our franchise concept and how we can help harness their entrepreneurial drive to succeed."

Currently, the state of North Carolina has over 25 Salsarita's locations and with new restaurants opening across the country, the company is quickly gaining brand recognition and a reputation for quality and legendary hospitality. In addition to expanding its presence in North Carolina, Salsarita's has announced that Jacksonville, Detroit, Birmingham, Memphis/Nashville, Upstate New York and Baltimore will be key markets for its 2010 expansion plans.

"We are excited about the momentum we've already created with 15-20 new restaurants in queue for this year. With more customers visiting fast-casual concepts instead of traditional full-service, sit-down restaurants, Salsarita's is well positioned to succeed and is a compelling investment for new franchisees or those looking to expand their franchise portfolio," said Mangiamele. "Fresh-Mexican is an up and coming concept and Salsarita's fills this growing niche in the franchise industry."

Salsarita's experienced great success in 2009 with new restaurants opening in Charlotte and Greenville, NC, Clarence, NY, Jacksonville, FL, Murfreesboro and Knoxville, TN and other markets around the country. In addition, new development agreements were signed for the opening of more than 15 locations in the US.

The company is currently closing in on its first hundred restaurants with the goal of having 200 restaurants open and operating by the end of 2014. Most recently, a location opened in Auburn University in Alabama and restaurants in Puerto Rico, Tyler, TX and Overland Park, KS are slated to open this winter.

Salsarita's is looking for candidates with the financial resources and entrepreneurial drive to join its team as either area representatives (controlling a defined territory), area developers (a multi-store operator) or single-unit franchisees. The estimated initial investment per restaurant is between $296,700 and $577,100 (inclusive of $25,000 franchise fee) with a real estate selection ranging from 2,200 to 2,700 square-feet.

As participants in the IFA's VetFran and MinorityFran programs, Salsarita's offers a 20% discount off the initial franchise fee for qualifying candidates.

The company's comprehensive training and support program includes a three-week Burrito Boot Camp at the corporate headquarters, on-site grand opening support and ongoing business coaching.

Salsarita's specializes in serving made-to-order burritos, tacos, tortilla pizzas and taco salads. Prepared fresh-daily in each restaurant, guests can enjoy high-quality dishes featuring ground beef, grilled chicken, grilled steak, or pork, grilled shrimp and fresh vegetables. Salsarita's also offers a choice of 13 delicious fillings and four homemade salsas. Every order is prepared in full view of customers in a 700-square-foot display kitchen with a contemporary Latin motif.

About Salsarita's Fresh Cantina

Founded in 2000, Salsarita's Fresh Cantina is one of the fastest-growing Mexican fast-casual Mexican restaurant chains, recognized for its people, food and world-class hospitality. Customers can create delicious made-to-order meals from a flavorful Mexican menu that offers burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, tortilla-crusted pizzas and salads with a wide selection of meats, fresh vegetables and homemade salsas in lively, family-friendly environments. The company is currently closing in on its first hundred restaurants with the goal of having 200 restaurants open and operating by the end of 2014.

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