STORE SPACES

Fast-casual restaurant company in expansion mode

BY Marianne Wilson

Melt Shop is turning to franchising to expand its concept.

The company said it will expand its footprint by opening 18 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware as a part of its first development deal. The new partnership supports Melt Shop’s aggressive plans to grow to 100 locations worldwide during the next five years. The first location is slated to open in Delaware in 2018.

Founded by Spencer Rubin in 2011, Melt Shop specializes in melted sandwiches “masterpieces” made with high-quality ingredients. It has eight corporate location, with six in and around New York City, one in Pennsylvania, and one in Minnesota. It has signed a multi-unit deal to open seven restaurants in the Middle East, four of which will open by the second quarter of 2018. In December, Melt Shop signed its first domestic franchise agreement to open a location in Staten Island Mall in Staten Island, New York.

Melt Shop is a part of Aurify Brands, a company equal parts hospitality group and restaurant incubator. Aurify Brands was founded by Andy Stern and John Rigos, who are Five Guys Burgers and Fries multi-unit franchisees, and former franchisees of Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Baskin-Robbins. The company also owns and operates The Little Beet, The Little Beet Table, Fields Good Chicken, and MAKE Sandwich.

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