Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill Announces First Texas Franchisee

Denver-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in fresh, authentic Mediterranean cuisine, today announced the awarding of a franchise opportunity to Texas-based franchisee Blue Jean Food Group (BJFG).

Opening Garbanzo locations in the San Antonio and Austin, Texas areas, BJFG has rights to develop up to 15 restaurants. The first location is slated to open in San Antonio in late summer 2012.

BJFG is a family owned and operated restaurant group, which currently owns the full service seafood restaurant Pelican’s Landing in Port Aransas, Texas, and previously was involved in the Big Boy concept, also in Texas.

“We could not be more thrilled about joining with Blue Jean Food Group to introduce Garbanzo to the San Antonio and Austin markets,” says Bob Bafundo, Garbanzo director of franchise development and operations. “Blue Jean Food Group is a top-rate operator with tremendous experience and knowledge of the San Antonio and Austin markets, ideal for launching and establishing our fresh, authentic Mediterranean concept in their home state. We welcome them to the Garbanzo family and anticipate a strong and successful relationship.”

Garbanzo has strict qualification criteria for potential franchisees. Only experienced, successful multi-unit restaurant operators who are well capitalized and interested in additional multi-unit growth with the Garbanzo brand are considered.

“Expanding the concept beyond the borders of Colorado is a major landmark in the history of Garbanzo,” adds Bafundo. “Our brand has received consistent interest from experienced franchisees since inception in 2007, and we have been very fortunate to sign deals with numerous groups across the country.  We only see that interest continuing to grow as more and more companies recognize the demand and enthusiasm for fast-casual Mediterranean in their areas. This year will be one of many firsts for Garbanzo franchising as we enter new markets, and we look forward to announcing those deals over the next few months.”

“I am very excited to be bringing such a unique concept like Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill to the San Antonio and Austin markets,” shares Michael Ahlstrom, Blue Jean Food Group president. “With the fresh-food movement growing, these communities are seeking a healthy, tasty alternative to the common-place, processed-food fast food restaurant.”

“Joining with a solid organization such as Blue Jean Food Group furthers our franchising goal of selecting quality operators over quantity in order to strategically grow the Garbanzo brand nationwide,” says Alon Mor, Garbanzo founder, president and CEO. “And for seasoned restaurateurs, Garbanzo offers an original, high caliber concept with distinctive menu offerings for their portfolios.”

Franchising is one of Garbanzo’s key growth strategies building upon the success of its 14 company-owned restaurants in Colorado. In addition to expansion through franchising, Garbanzo will continue its aggressive company development both in the state and outside Colorado’s borders, specifically in the D.C./Baltimore area.

Garbanzo offers guests a variety of authentic Mediterranean items with an emphasis on flavor, freshness and quality, as well as a healthy trans-fat free menu. Guests have the ability to customize every meal with items such as pita, laffa, falafel, shwarma, hummus, seasoned rice, sauces and dressings. All Garbanzo salads and sauces are prepared on-site daily, and the pita are made from scratch throughout the day in every restaurant. Additionally, several ingredients are bought locally and some are imported directly from the Mediterranean region.

Blue Jean Food Group (BJFG) is a family-owned and operated group of restaurants located in Texas. With both original concept and franchise restaurants, BJFG is passionate about serving fresh, quality dishes in a comfortable, family-friendly environment at a reasonable price. The flagship restaurant, Pelican’s Landing, is an icon of fresh seafood dining on the Texas Gulf Coast. The newest venture, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, offers a unique fresh flavor in a fast-casual dining experience.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is owned and operated in Colorado. The company’s founder, Alon Mor, grew up in the Mediterranean region and is a 15-year veteran of owning and running restaurants. St. Louis Bread Company/Panera Bread founder Ken Rosenthal is also co-founder of the company. Voted 2010 and 2011 “Best Healthy Lunch” in Denver’s 7 A-List, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill uses only the freshest, quality ingredients with freshly baked pita daily, along with several vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. To learn more about Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, visit