Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill Proves Brand Strength through Multi-Unit Franchise Expansion

Poised for Continued National Growth in 2015

Leading Fresh Mexican Grill Franchise Dominating in Fast-Casual with Multi-Unit Agreements and Area Developer Deals

February 24, 2015 // Franchising.com // SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Continuing to gain popularity on a national scale as more and more consumers focus on clean eating habits, and more and more investors have taken notice, Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill is thriving on the increased demand for healthy fast casual cuisine in the quick service restaurant segment.

Integral in the franchise's development strategy, Costa Vida signed five multi-unit franchise agreements in 2014, totaling 41 new restaurant locations added to the pipeline, with the first already open in Atlanta. Currently a 68-unit system, Costa Vida has locations in 12 states primarily on the West Coast and three locations in Alberta, Canada. Divided among the recently signed agreements, Costa Vida will be opening new locations in Denver, Vancouver/Portland, Atlanta, Tampa/Sarasota and Northern California this year. Throughout the country, Costa Vida will have additional locations popping up in Utah, Arizona, Texas, Idaho and Illinois this year, as well.

Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill made 2014 a banner year by implementing a secure franchise development strategy with a focus on growing through multi-unit operators and area developers. With the hiring of Director of Franchise Development, Terry Jennings, the Fresh Mexican Grill gained decades of experience in building a strong and cohesive brand through tactical and proven franchise development methods. Jennings' calculated approach to grow steadily yet exponentially has proven to marry well with the vision of CEO Sean Collins and President Dave Rutter.

"Costa Vida is a brand that is devoted to promoting healthy lifestyle choices, offering customizable menu options featuring real food with natural and fresh ingredients that people recognize and can relate to. This has always been the cornerstone of our business, and with recent shifts in consumer demand for that exact dining experience, we're seeing increasing sales at our locations and increasing interest from investors looking to capitalize on the growing market," said Sean Collins, CEO of Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill. "The key to our success as we continue to gain popularity among consumers, especially in new markets, is to maintain consistency across the brand from the ground up. In order for that to remain, we have to be strategic and calculated in our franchise development process, thoroughly vetting candidates and opportunities to ensure we maintain brand integrity and cohesion as we become a more nationally recognized franchise."

Following the opening of its first location in the state of Georgia last year, 2015 is poised to hold continued exponential development for Costa Vida. Opening locations in three new states including Florida, Illinois and Oregon, Costa Vida will be able to call home in 15 states. Additionally, the Fresh Mexican Grill franchise will be opening for the first time in markets including Chicago, Portland, Vancouver WA, Tucson, and Tampa.

Growing through multi-unit agreements and savvy area developers, Costa Vida is also planning continued expansion in Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Tampa, Boise, the Twin Cities, Sacramento, Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Atlanta, Orlando, & Washington DC. Projected to open 25 new locations throughout new and existing markets in 2015, Costa Vida is already on track to continued steady growth with additional recent agreements in Tucson, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Boise, Denver, Sacramento, Tampa, Portland/Vancouver, and Seattle.

"Our strategy for expansion in key high-growth markets is largely based on Unit Level Economics. By focusing our growth through an economic lens as opposed to a regional growth pattern, we're able to capitalize on the key factors that will ultimately drive our business in a market," said Terry Jennings, Director of Franchise Development for Costa Vida. "Since joining Costa Vida, I have witnessed the cult like following of consumers that crave not only the food, but the atmosphere, service and brand identity. Maintaining this consistency for all of our customers will be crucial in building out a national brand. Prior to my joining the company though, the Costa Vida team already in place had spent the last few years laying a foundation capable of supporting the success of their business partners and restaurant growth across the country. We've already set the foundation, now we're building."

Known for its menu of fresh flavorful ingredients showcased through innovative cuisine inspired by coastal Mexico, Costa Vida prides itself on clean eating through the use of only the freshest, natural and whole ingredients as well as an extensive variety of gluten-friendly options. Knowing that the Costa Vida customer expects fresh quality ingredients, the fresh Mexican grill serves food made from scratch daily, giving them the ability to cater to those with dietary restrictions or who are simply looking to improve their diet.

To augment the company's exponential growth, Costa Vida is seeking multi-unit franchisee candidates to further develop existing markets and break into new territories around the country. A low-cost investment in the growing fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry, franchisees are able to sign with a $30,000 investment. Typically endcaps or free standing buildings, Costa Vida locations have flexible real-estate requirements and offer drive-thru models, as well. Interested parties should have a strong desire to own their own business and a passion to succeed in the industry.

For more information about franchising and how you can become a Costa Vida area developer, visit www.costavida.net/franchise or contact Scott Jenkins, Franchise Development Sales Manager at 801-331-7070.

About Costa Vida

Costa Vida is a fast casual restaurant inspired by the fresh tasting foods and vibrant lifestyle from the coast of Mexico. Costa Vida's food is created every day from scratch using quality ingredients. The menu offers a variety of custom made-to-order items such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salads and desserts. As a growing and successful brand, Costa Vida offers exciting and vibrant franchise business opportunities. For more information, visit www.costavida.net.

SOURCE Costa Vida

Media Contact:

Mary Hedge
Fishman PR
mhedge@fishmanpr.com
847-945-1300 ext. 234

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