Modern Market Eatery Launches National Franchise Growth Strategy: Why Now?
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Modern Market Eatery Launches National Franchise Growth Strategy: Why Now?

Modern Market Eatery Launches National Franchise Growth Strategy: Why Now?

Renee Israel, Chief Franchise Officer at Modern Market, explains why the health-conscious, fast casual chain is ready to select strong franchise partners to help grow the brand.

When Modern Market Eatery opened its first restaurant in Boulder, Colorado over 12 years ago, the mission was always to inspire happier, healthier living everywhere through food that is better for you in every way.  Today with nearly 30 locations in multiple markets, the brand—known for its farm-fresh fare—is offering qualified franchise partners an unmatched opportunity to bring its diversified clean, craveable menu to communities around the country.  

Renee Israel, Chief Franchise Officer for Modern Market Eatery, explains why the time is now for the Colorado-born chain to launch a national franchise growth strategy primed to attract the next generation of franchisees and operators. 

Modern Market is already a proven, fast casual concept. Why is the brand looking to expand through franchising now?

If you asked our CEO and Co-Founder, Rob McColgan, he would say that we always had plans to leverage franchising as part of our growth strategy.  But he would also add that we needed to hit certain milestones before offering Modern Market as a win-win franchise opportunity. After a dozen years of building, operating, and perfecting every aspect of our model, we can confidently say that we check all the boxes.

As a veteran in the emerging franchise space, what do you think makes Modern Market franchise-ready?

For several years now, Modern Market has proven itself as a highly scalable concept with a rapidly growing base of loyal brand fans seeking high-quality, health-conscious food that’s convenient, fast, and affordable. Not only do we have a solid track record of meeting our guests’ needs in multiple markets-Modern Market also delivers strong unit economics. As a brand, we have consistently demonstrated lower prime costs and continually improved same-store sales for both one and two-year comparisons.  This year, we have also seen significant profitability performance, recovering to well above 2019 levels, with even stronger momentum expected for the rest of 2021. We attribute this success to a highly dedicated and experienced leadership team, ready to support franchise partners in all aspects of building their Modern Market business.

Along with franchise readiness, why should a candidate consider Modern Market’s franchise opportunity?

Our culinary team is truly masterful at translating the scratch-made techniques required to serve farm-to-table fare into a repeatable and consistent fast-casual format. Our menu is diverse and innovative, focusing on convenience and customization to meet any dietary needs. Clean ingredient-filled seasonal menus feature marketplace salads, grain bowls, toasted sandwiches, brick oven pizzas, and an unrivaled proprietary protein program, including sustainable line-caught salmon, grass-fed steak, and the game-changing addition of line-caught tuna to our summer menu. This results in a brand with wide-ranging appeal and the opportunity to scale and grow.

What is the initial buy-in for a Modern Market franchise, including royalty costs? 

The estimated initial investment ranges from $753,500 to $1,443,750, which includes the initial franchise fee. The royalty is 5% of gross sales and a 1% brand fund contribution. Because we have built the business that we are today by building our own locations, we know exactly what’s required to support our franchise partners from providing site selection criteria to operating the day-to-day and maintaining strong unit economics.

Who is your ideal franchise candidate?

Our ideal franchise partner for Modern Market has prior restaurant experience, preferably managing multiple locations, with access to capital to open 3 to 10 locations, depending on the market.  In addition, we look for candidates who resonate with our mission, vision, and values—including our belief in a world where high-quality, nourishing food is as convenient as fast food.  We are proud to serve and eat our food every day.  We want our franchise partners to feel the same way.  

Do you focus primarily on street locations, or do you also have non-traditional formats?  Where else do you want to grow?

Many of our restaurants are in well-established urban or suburban markets. Each location offers an omnichannel experience for guests to access and enjoy our affordable, nourishing, and delicious food including our loyalty app, state-of-the-art website, dine-in, take-out and delivery, and a robust catering program.  We also have long-standing relationships with license partners featuring small, flexible footprints at venues such as Denver International Airport and Notre Dame’s Duncan Student Center.  We hope to establish partnerships to expand both traditional and non-traditional formats.

Given that we operate in multiple markets with various demographics and models, we are open to supporting franchisees in the many untapped markets, large and small, in need of the health-conscious food that we serve.  

How can potential franchisees or license partners learn more about Modern Market’s franchise opportunities.

Franchisees or investors attending the Multi-Unit Franchise Conference in Vegas at the end of August can find us at booth #604.  But we suggest contacting us in advance at to set up a more intimate conversation at the show. If you are not attending the conference, you can still connect with us to discuss the brand anytime, or go to to find out more.

Anything else you would want a prospective candidate to know?

As a former founder, who transitioned a corporate structure into a franchise system and consulted with dozens of other emerging brands trying to do the same, I know what it takes to be franchise-ready.  I can confidently say that Modern Market is a rare find with a unique offering—a ground floor opportunity established beyond its years.  Any qualified franchise candidate would be fortunate to work with our experienced team and add this future-forward brand to their portfolio. It’s a next-generation franchise for a next-generation franchisee.


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Published: August 11th, 2021

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