What is in this article?:
- LYFE Kitchen launches franchising program
- Seeking experience
Michael Donahue, chief of brand relations and a partrner in LYFE Kitchen, says the goal is to build a mostly franchised brand.
Donahue said the company is seeking experienced franchise operators from the hospitality industry who ideally would be interested in opening multiple locations within a territory, though the company is open to a commitment for one unit initially with an option to expand.
A typical LYFE Kitchen would work well in vibrant urban locations, “on main-and-main” or close by, said Donahue. There are no plans for a drive thru location currently, though that may come later.
The estimated buildout cost for a LYFE Kitchen unit is about $1.5 million, including kitchen equipment.
LYFE Kitchen is known for its use of state-of-the-art energy-efficient equipment, which is a key component of the systems that allow for the cooking of fresh food in house consistently. A turbo combine oven, for example, allows operators to turn out the concept’s signature Brussels sprouts the same way every time, he said.
While Chicago — where LYFE Kitchen is based — will be home to the first franchise location, Donahue said the company is eager to line up operators in Colorado, in particular, where they feel the brand will be embraced by diners in cities like Denver and Boulder.
The company is also working to develop relationships with farmers in the territories targeted so restaurants can deliver on the promise to use local ingredients where possible.
So far, Donahue said, the sourcing of ingredients that fit with the concept’s mission of being a chain that serves fresh, healthful food hasn’t been a problem. “I think people are on to what we’re creating,” he said. “And they’re saying they want to be a part of it.”