November 25, 2007

More restaurants slated for the Nashville Area

Atlanta-based upscale sandwich maker Rising Roll Gourmet is opening five restaurants in Nashville and possibly adding three to five more stores in outlying areas.
The shop that boasts 50 different gourmet sandwiches has signed an agreement with franchisee Mark Streich who will open restaurants in the downtown area, West End, Brentwood, Franklin and Belle Meade.
Founded in Atlanta in 1996, Rising Roll is a quick-service chain that competes with companies such as Panera Bread and the Atlanta Bread Co. for the gourmet lunch sandwich crowd.
Rising Roll President Mike Lassiter says the first Nashville eatery is expected to open in the first quarter of 2008. Each restaurant will require an investment of $250,000 to $350,000.
"Nashville has been on our radar for some time," Lassiter says.
Lassiter, who described Nashville's real estate market as "tight," says his company is in the process of site selection but would like to open its first Nashville location in Brentwood.
He's targeting areas with large day-time populations.
Quick service casual dining chains have grown significantly in recent years.
Panera Bread has 10 locations in the Nashville area, with the latest opening on West End Avenue just more than a week ago, says spokesman Andrew Carlson. An additional Panera location is scheduled to open on Commerce street in December.
"We have had success with the markets we have in the Greater Nashville market and there is room for additional locations," Carlson says.
Rising Roll serves soups and salads in addition to its sandwiches such as its Mad Italian (with salami, pepperoni, ham and Italian dressing).
Lassiter says his company has a unique opportunity in Nashville to capitalize on the breakfast and lunch catering business. In some markets more than 50 percent of the revenue from Rising Roll stores come from its catering business.

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