I Heart Mac & Cheese Signs Three-Store Franchise Development Agreement Marking Arrival In Alabama
Leading Fast-Casual Concept on its Way to Birmingham And Tuscaloosa
December 05, 2019 // Franchising.com // Boca Raton, Fla. - I Heart Mac & Cheese, a fast-casual concept specializing in customizable, made-to-order macaroni and cheese bowls with a variety of health-conscious bases including quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, and gluten-free pasta, today announced a three-store franchise development agreement with Raj Patel to bring the brand to Alabama. Two locations will open in Birmingham and the third will open in Tuscaloosa throughout 2020 and 2021.
“I Heart Mac & Cheese is a fun, attractive concept and an affordable franchise model that is easy to operate, with support systems in place to help our partners be successful,” said Stephen Giordanella, I Heart Mac & Cheese CEO and Chairman. “We are thrilled to bring our popular concept into the state of Alabama.”
The franchise group developing I Heart Mac & Cheese in the Birmingham area includes Raj Patel and his parents, Vinod and Dipika Patel, the latter two who will manage and oversee day-to-day operations. Raj Patel was attracted to I Heart Mac & Cheese – and the restaurant industry – as his parents and other family members owned full-service restaurants during his childhood.
“I’m thrilled to be opening the very first I Heart Mac & Cheese locations in Alabama, alongside my parents,” said Raj Patel. “We look forward to bringing a unique dining experience to Birmingham and showcasing menu items that are reminiscent of everyone’s favorite childhood memories.”
I Heart Mac & Cheese is well-known for custom, build-your-own macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches. Guests select a pasta, bread, quinoa, broccoli or cauliflower base along with seven different proteins, vegetables, and cheeses. Most recently, the brand unveiled a new vegan menu featuring plant-based options through an official partnership that was launched with Beyond Meat®. Gluten-free options are also available. Sesame ginger, mango habanero, buffalo, BBQ, and pesto are a few of the delicious dressings and sauces available to mix in or top off each creation. In addition to customized options, the menu includes specialty chef special items like Baked Chicken Parmesan, Baked Meatball Parmesan, The Cuban, Pepperoni Pizza, and Lobster & White Truffle Mac, among others. Guests can pair their meal with the perfect side of Tomato Soup and finish it with a selection of desserts such as Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies and Marshmallow Treats.
A unique franchise concept in the restaurant industry with no fryers, grease trap systems or hood systems, I Heart Mac & Cheese requires a low investment and can be opened in a small space, such as a mall kiosk or food court. Shopping malls, sports venues, areas close to colleges and universities, and high-traffic pedestrian areas are also ideal locations. With a home office in South Florida, I Heart Mac & Cheese offers franchise owner training, marketing support and ongoing development opportunities to ensure each location’s success.
Earlier this year, I Heart Mac & Cheese was ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top new franchise opportunities in 2019. Several other locations have recently been announced, with upcoming openings in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New York, New Jersey and Texas.
For more information on I Heart Mac & Cheese visit iheartmacandcheese.com.
About I Heart Mac & Cheese
I Heart Mac & Cheese is a fast-casual concept specializing in customizable, made-to-order macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches. Also, on the menu are lifestyle choices with quinoa, broccoli or cauliflower bowls, as well as gluten-free pasta. In 2019, the brand unveiled a new vegan menu featuring plant-based options through an official partnership that was launched with Beyond Meat®. The menu combines award-winning recipes resulting in a grown-up approach to this classic childhood dish. Guests in search of an easy-to-eat treat can enjoy the brand’s newest menu item, Mac Bites, that are baked, bite-size portions perfect to eat while you are on the go in flavors like Bacon Cheeseburger, Buffalo Chicken, The Cuban, Lobster and Classic. The first location opened in 2016 in Fort Lauderdale. Florida locations include Pembroke Pines, Jupiter and Boca Raton. Additional locations are slated to open in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Texas. In 2017, the company launched its franchising program nationwide and has franchisee locations in Florida in Cooper City, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach and Tallahassee, in Georgia in Athens and in New York in Patchogue and Bayside.
Rachel Tabacnic / Stephanie Davis
SOURCE I Heart Mac & Cheese