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Offers Unmatched Variety and Nutrition
by Beverly Dykes
In the interests of eating enjoyable food and feeling good, there is an innovative quick food restaurant that takes the concept of serving good tasting, good for you food to a refreshing new level. Founder Matthew Corrin has hit on a trend in dining that is right in tune with people’s longing for customized meals that aren’t complicated or laden with unhealthful ingredients. It’s about eating without any regret, eating to benefit one’s nutrition, yet not having to compromise on taste.
The concept began as a single unit opened by Matthew Corrin in Toronto in early 2005, with the intent of changing the way people eat, for the better. It garnered the ARC award for National Innovative Retail Concept of the Year from Cadillac Fairview Ltd., and the foundation for future success was affirmed. Today, as President of Freshii, Matthew Corrin is still very involved with the development of the chain, which currently numbers approximately 60 locations opened throughout the United States and Canada. Among new locations added in the past few years have been restaurants in Dubai, Vienna, NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville, Houston, Denver, Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa. Freshii‘s new store openings have generated massive lines of customers seeking out a unique experience that provides a satisfying meal that will fit into anyone‘s busy schedule. While they are bombarded all around with a multitude of choices in the marketplace, Freshii stands apart for its efforts at eliminating the industry’s reliance on unhealthful, processed meals, heavy energy consumption and excess packaging.
Freshii has been hailed as a leader among the new generation of dining. The concept is pioneering the emerging industry of “health-casual” by offering eating choices deemed a hybrid of fast casual dining, QSR, and retail focused on health and wellness. The fully customizable menu selections offer quality meals that can be consumed every day, any time of the day, and can be made to suit any diet. The menu has great appeal for those open to the possibility of trying new foods and new combinations of ingredients. The atmosphere is modern and casual, the restaurant staff are upbeat and friendly, and the packaging is eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Many aspects of the company are geared around being environmentally sustainable, and honest. The restaurants are designed to have a small footprint, which equates to using less materials, using greener materials, to consuming minimal energy and impacting the earth as little as possible. Even the kitchen’s setup -- with no energy-consuming dishwashers, hoods, ranges or ovens present -- contributes to having less impact on the environment. Carrying it into all aspects of operation, only natural products are used in cleaning and maintenance, online and mobile ordering are encouraged, packaging is made from eco-friendly vegetable starches, and food deliveries are carried out either on foot or on a bike. The menu’s principle food components are also sourced from farms using environmentally responsible growth methods.
At Freshii, where the motto is ‘Eat. Energize.’ the focus is on being recognized as a convenient choice for fresh breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options, served up remarkably efficiently. Among the quick and nutritious items on Freshii’s menu are salads, wraps, rice bowls, burritos, soups and frozen yogurt. The format is “build your own” style, with a list of over 70 ingredients to select from, and dozens of topping and dressing choices to complement the primary ingredients, providing unmatched variety. The ingredients can be categorized as light (super low in fat and high in fiber, with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and lean protein); balanced (having essential fats, slow burning carbs, good oils and high protein); and classic (offering popular flavors that are recommended to be consumed in moderation).
Breakfast might consist of a bowl of organic, slow-cooked oatmeal; organic muesli; a breakfast wrap; or fat-free parfait, with a cup of organic fair-trade coffee or organic tea to round out the morning. Among snack options are low-fat frozen yogurt, or an exclusive selection of healthy treats and fresh fruit. The menu’s flavor categories are designed to fulfill any diet objective consumers might adhere to, such as low fat, high fiber, vitamin enriched, antioxidant, or high protein, as well as meeting the individualized needs of vegans, vegetarians, raw diet and meat consumers. The concept’s patrons are able to personalize their entrée, which is built to their own specifications.
As the name implies, freshness is paramount. The gourmet-caliber items are made using the freshest of ingredients. It is so crucial a factor that many of the menu’s offerings are based on seasonal availability. As the concept has evolved, it has also begun sourcing and incorporating more locally produced and organic ingredients. Besides convenience (operating hours are typically 7 am to 9 pm daily), value is another component of the concept‘s appeal. The restaurants also cater group functions of all sizes, with an emphasis on meals that will energize, increase productivity and appeal to all.
Freshii’s system of operation is engineered to be easily scaled and replicated. Having enacted a national expansion plan spanning North America that was launched in 2010, the company has evolved to operate restaurants in CA, CO, DC, IL, MD, NY, OR, PA, TN, TX, Canada, Austria and Dubai. The development goal is to continue expanding in prime sites going forward (25 to 40 new restaurants are projected to be added in 2013), with immediate target markets being progressive cities in CA, CO, CT, IL, NY, WY, Canada, and internationally in Australia, Columbia and China. Landlords appreciate the concept’s focused menu (no conflict with “non-compete” clauses); that there is no on-site cooking (which lowers store build-out costs and flexibility of site use); flexible footprint (locations can range in size from 900 to 2,500 sq. ft.); and ability for conversion (the concept has occupied former hair salons, coffee shops, book stores, etc.).
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