- Crisp & Green, the flagship health food concept for Minnesota-based Steele Brands, has signed a 40-unit development agreement with franchisee Rory Kelly of Salads & Smoothies, the company announced Wednesday. This is Crisp & Green’s largest franchise deal to date.
- The agreement will expand Salad & Smoothies’ existing 11-unit deal with the chain.
- Crisp & Green, which has over two dozen open units, is pursuing aggressive expansion with 50 restaurants expected to open in 15 states by the end of the year.
The development deal raises Steele Brands’ number of locations open or in development to over 250, across 25 states. It will also allow the brand to expand rapidly through its home state of Minnesota and launch in new markets including Phoenix, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Salad & Smoothies currently has two Crisp & Green units open in Minnesota, with a third location set to open during the spring in Mankato, Minnesota. All 51 units are expected to be open by 2028.
Crisp & Green offers online ordering through its proprietary app, as well as complimentary fitness classes hosted at its locations, according to Forbes. Crisp & Green’s rapid growth began in 2020 when the then seven-unit chain entered agreements to develop 20 units.
The fast casual brand, which claims to open new locations weekly, offers salads, grain bowls and smoothies. The company’s systemwide average unit volume was $2.2 million for 2021, according to its website.
Crisp & Green joins several other health brands aggressively growing via franchising. Modern Market had 30 about units when it signed a 41-unit deal with its first franchisee last year. Rush Bowls, which had 38 units open as of Sept. 2022, has a pipeline of 100 locations across 24 states. Main Squeeze Juice is also expanding rapidly.