GMG Oklahoma, LLC to open first location in Oklahoma City in early October
Denver, CO (RestaurantNews.com) Denver-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept featuring a fresh, authentic and healthy Mediterranean menu, has awarded franchise development rights to Oklahoma-based franchisee GMG Oklahoma, LLC.
With the rights to develop up to 10 restaurants in Oklahoma, GMG Oklahoma is scheduled to open its first location on the Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City this October. They plan to immediately move forward with additional metro locations, focusing initially on Edmond and Norman.
GMG Oklahoma was formed earlier this year by Ed Lynn, a Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar (BWW) franchisee. Lynn owns BWW locations in Oklahoma City, Enid and Muskogee, Okla. Prior to entering the restaurant business, Lynn spent his career in real estate and hotel development and management, including 14 years as a Choice Hotels franchisee, operating nine hotels in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.
“Expanding the Garbanzo brand to Oklahoma is very exciting for us, especially in partnership with such an experienced group like Ed’s,” states Bob Bafundo, Garbanzo director of franchise development and operations. “Their years as restaurant operators in the market enabled them to see an opportunity for fresh, healthy and authentic Mediterranean cuisine and seize it. We are very fortunate to have Ed and his team on board and look forward to bringing Garbanzo to Oklahoma.”
Garbanzo has firm qualification criteria for potential franchisees. Only experienced, successful multi-unit restaurant operators who are well capitalized and interested in additional multi-unit growth with the Garbanzo brand are considered.
“The Garbanzo brand is growing quickly, and we have been fortunate to sign deals with numerous franchise groups across the country,” adds Bafundo. “We look forward to announcing additional franchise partners over the next several months.”
“Over the years, I looked into many different restaurant concepts; but none stood out to me quite like Garbanzo,” explains Lynn. “The combination of healthy fast-casual, unique Mediterranean food and an established corporate base appealed to me. I knew Oklahoma City would respond to a cutting-edge concept like Garbanzo and enjoy the diverse flavors and healthy menu offerings just as much as I did. I am thrilled about this partnership and cannot wait to share it with my city.”
“Oklahoma City is hip and vibrant with residents who know good food. We are fortunate to have found a veteran group like Ed’s to help bring us there,” says Alon Mor, Garbanzo founder, president and CEO. “This partnership is just one more step in our strategic growth plan to open Garbanzo locations across the country and join with seasoned restaurateurs interested in offering an authentic, distinctive Mediterranean menu.”
Franchising is one of Garbanzo’s key growth strategies building upon the success of its 14 company-owned restaurants in Colorado. In addition to expansion through franchising, Garbanzo will continue its aggressive company development both in the state and outside Colorado’s borders, specifically in the D.C./Baltimore area.
Garbanzo offers guests a variety of authentic Mediterranean items with an emphasis on flavor, freshness and quality, as well as a healthy trans-fat free menu. Guests have the ability to customize every meal with items such as pita, laffa, falafel, shwarma, hummus, seasoned rice, sauces and dressings. All Garbanzo salads and sauces are prepared on-site daily, and the pita are made from scratch throughout the day in every restaurant. Additionally, several ingredients are bought locally and some are imported directly from the Mediterranean region. For more information about Garbanzo, visit www.EatGarbanzo.com.
About GMG Oklahoma
GMG Oklahoma was founded by Ed Lynn, a Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar franchisee since 2004. He currently owns stores in Oklahoma City, Enid and Muskogee, Okla. Prior to entering the restaurant business, Lynn spent 14 years as a Choice Hotels franchisee, operating nine hotels in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. He spent his early career with Henderson Properties, Inc. on their real estate development staff. He is a member of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and sits on the Oklahoma Convention and Visitors Commission.
About Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill
Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is owned and operated in Colorado. The company’s founder, Alon Mor, grew up in the Mediterranean region and is a 20-year veteran of owning and running restaurants. St. Louis Bread Company/Panera Bread founder Ken Rosenthal is also co-founder of the company. Garbanzo uses only the freshest, quality ingredients for its made-from-scratch recipes, and provides several vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Garbanzo currently has 14 Colorado-based restaurants and new company-owned locations opening soon in Denver Metro and D.C./Baltimore. Franchise markets are also opening in 2012 across the country, including the recently announced San Antonio market. To learn more about Garbanzo, visit www.EatGarbanzo.com.
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