Nashville Business Journal Profiles I Love Juice Bar Franchise Investor
Why did Fresh Hospitality invest in the I Love Juice Bar franchise? Profile shines light on what they look for
Shortly after I Love Juice Bar opened its first location in Brentwood, Tennessee, the business started attracting crowds of customers. The long lines for fresh juice soon attracted investors, too, who were interested in duplicating the successful concept.
Among the investors: Michael and Matt Bodnar of Fresh Hospitality. Michael Bodnar is a longtime franchise owner and executive who has helped grow iconic brands over the past four decades. His son, Matt, is a former Goldman Sachs analyst who also previously worked as a technology and management consultant in Nanjing, China. Together, they founded Fresh Hospitality to find great new restaurant concepts and help them grow.
The pair bring management expertise, real estate know-how, technology acumen and algorithms to predict day-to-day (and hour-to-hour) consumer demand. That support provides a huge competitive advantage to restaurant owners.
In 2014, they decided to bring their talents and investment to I Love Juice Bar in order to help make the brand a household name nationwide — not just in Brentwood.
The Nashville Business Journal recently profiled Fresh Hospitality to see what makes the company tick. Some excerpts:
Nashville-based Fresh Hospitality, an owner and operator of “fresh casual” restaurant concepts and BBQ-joints, has been on a tear recently, expanding concepts and opening new ones, on a path to bringing its restaurant brands nationwide. …
“We look for really cool, really compelling brands that have strong economics,” Matt Bodnar, a partner in Fresh Hospitality, told me over lunch Wednesday at Taziki’s Cafe, another Fresh-owned concept. “We bring the financial capital but also the intellectual capital to scale from one to five stores to 20, 30, 40.”
Taziki’s is one example. When Fresh signed on with Taziki’s, it had three locations. Today, the restaurant has 35 locations stretching from Denver to Texas to West Virginia. Bodnar said the company plans to have 50 locations open by the end of this year.
So in the rapidly expanding fast-casual space, what sets a Fresh Hospitality concept apart? Everything is, well, fresh and made from scratch, said Bodnar, pointing out that with the exception of Padrino’s Pops (a popsicle store), none of the company’s restaurants have freezers. He also said they scale without “dumbing down” a concept in terms of food quality or customer service …
Fresh Hospitality is betting on I Love Juice Bar because it sees an opportunity to help the brand expand into cities nationwide, becoming the dominant player in the fast-growing premium juice category. To learn more about I Love Juice Bar and Fresh Hospitality, fill out a form to download our free franchise report and start a conversation. We look forward to speaking with you!