What is in this article?:
- Giardino Gourmet Salads to expand beyond Florida
- Growing on both fronts
The Miami-based salad concept hopes to grow in the U.S. and South America.
Julio Ramirez, part owner and board member, Giardino Gourmet Salads.
Growing on both fronts
How does Giardino plan to expand in the coming years? What are some target markets?
We anticipate that we will aggressively expand in the southeastern region of the U.S. in the next five years, specifically Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; New Orleans and other key cities. Longer term, we want to continue expanding to other regions of the U.S. Leveraging the fact that our home base, Miami, is the gateway of the Americas, we will be targeting international franchise groups to develop in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America.
We like the hospitality approach that we take to the business. Our focus is to get the basics right. I’d be very proud to double the business in the next 18 months and then things will really start to pick up speed.
Are you able to share any sales information with us?
Sales are about $550,000-$600,000 per year at our locations. Initial investment in a new location is about $200,000. We feel very good about the returns on investment.
Will you expand in the U.S. before branching into South America?
The reality is that I think we can do both at the same time. I think we should open other parts of the U.S. From Miami, you can be to lots of Latin American countries within two hours, and there’s local produce in all those countries.
What are some of the challenges your brand faces in 2013?
Our challenge is just to aggressively grow. There’s nothing in front of me that is daunting. It’s prime time for us to start advertising and start franchising the brand. I think there’s nothing else like this in Florida, and Florida is a big state. I know there is competition in other cities, but you don’t get the same experience. I don’t think other places have the variety of dressings or the experience that we provide customers.