June 17, 2015 // Franchising.com // Jacksonville, Fla. – The Sheik Sandwiches, a 5-unit restaurant chain based in Jacksonville, today announced expansion plans that call for the fast casual restaurant chain to open franchised locations across Florida, Georgia and the Southeast.
Founded in 1972, The Sheik is known for home-style, hearty breakfast dishes and signature pitas and sandwiches -- with the most popular being the “Steak in a Sack” and the “Camel Rider.” All Sheik locations feature counter service, interior seating, and takeout. Sheik locations also feature a drive through window.
Elias S. Salameh, President of The Sheik Franchise Group, said The Sheik has been a favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner stop in Jacksonville for more than 40 years and it's time for Orlando and the rest of Florida to love The Sheik as well. “Of course we’re known for our wonderful breakfast items, but many know us as the “Home of the Camel Rider,” a deli meat and cheese stuffed pita like nothing else you’ve ever tasted,” said Salameh. “It’s our Whopper or Big Mac, and The Sheik is the only place in the world you can get it.”
Franchising plans call for organic, regional growth in Jacksonville and Orlando – followed by aggressive expansion throughout the state. "We've got plans to max out the Jacksonville market while also moving into the Orlando, Tampa and Miami markets," said Salameh. "With the excitement we've seen about our brand, we have every reason to believe most major markets in the Southeast could support up to 20 Sheik locations each."
The Sheik partnered with NEXT Franchise Systems, an Orlando-based franchise development company, to create The Sheik Franchise Opportunity and franchise sales program.
James Emerson, Managing Partner at NEXT, said The Sheik is uniquely positioned in the franchising industry and will appeal to a large amount of potential franchise owners. “If you are looking for a different kind of franchise restaurant concept, you’ve found it with The Sheik. They are not another pizza, burger or sub shop,” said Emerson. “Their concept is unique, has an extremely loyal and passionate following, and The Sheik has been in business since 1972. That says a lot to me and should say a lot to a prospective franchisee.”
In 1972, brothers Samir “Sam” and Munir “Mike Senior” Salameh, along with their wives Suad “Sue” and Basima, opened the first Sheik restaurant on the corner of 18th Street and Main Street in Jacksonville, Florida. That restaurant still operates today. From the very beginning the brothers knew that the keys to any successful restaurant are great service and great food.
Through the years, the chain has grown from one location to multiple locations across the Jacksonville area — all owned and operated by family members. During that time period, The Sheik became known for selling the best “Steak in a Sack” or steak pita and for its “Camel Rider,” or deli meat pita. The chain also originated the “Cherry Limeade,” The Sheik’s version of a black cherry and lime soft drink. All three items have gone on to become ubiquitous throughout the South and synonymous with the Jacksonville dining scene — even garnering an article in The New York Times.
Since the opening of that first location, the Salamehs have worked closely with relatives and a carefully selected team of restaurant professionals in the development of their restaurant concept. They’ve based their business on the principles of providing the customer with the highest quality, fresh ingredients, and fast, efficient service, at an affordable price, all in a clean family environment. As a result, The Sheik has always received rave reviews and is ready for the next round of expansion.
Visit The Sheik on the web at http://www.thesheiksandwiches.com.
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SOURCE The Sheik Sandwiches