Experienced Multi-Unit Operator Expands Casual Dining Leader’s Presence in the Southeast
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, a leader in casual dining known for its delicious, handcrafted pizza, distinctive taproom fare and vast craft beer selection, announced today it signed a four-unit franchise development agreement to open new restaurants in South Carolina in Greenville, Spartanburg and Horry counties, with the first location slated to open in Myrtle Beach in the fourth quarter of 2016. This announcement comes on the heels of a year of record-breaking success and is part of Old Chicago’s aggressive franchise expansion plans for South Carolina.
The new restaurants will be owned and operated by CRG Pizza, Inc., comprised of longtime entrepreneur Brent Collier and his daughters, Lori Collier and Elise Collier Massey.
“I’ve owned restaurants for the majority of my life and have been in search of a new venture with a brand that’s committed to high quality customer service and ongoing product innovation. Old Chicago embodies that and more, and has proven to be a leader in the casual dining segment,” said Brent Collier, Old Chicago franchisee. “Old Chicago has not only experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, but also continues to establish itself as The Craft Beer Authority, going above and beyond to provide guests an expansive craft beer selection to complement its distinctive menu. We look forward to providing an exceptional experience and introducing more South Carolina residents to Old Chicago.”
A restaurant industry veteran and well-respected multi-unit operator, Brent Collier brings a wealth of knowledge from his five decades of experience to Old Chicago. He’s owned a variety of franchises throughout his career, including The Melting Pot, Quaker Steak & Lube, Golden Corral and TGIFridays, all of which he still owns today. Following the development of his first restaurant in Myrtle Beach, Collier will open additional locations in Greenville and Spartanburg over the next three years.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Brent, Lori and Elise to our growing Old Chicago family,” said Mark A. Belanger, CFE, vice president of global franchise operations and development for CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., operating company of Old Chicago. “Their deep-rooted experience in the restaurant franchise space will lend itself to achieving the level of success we know they’re capable of. We look forward to watching the Collier’s grow Old Chicago’s presence in the South Carolina, and are eager to share the Old Chicago concept with the communities they’ll serve.”
Old Chicago experienced record-breaking success in 2015, achieving $254 million in system-wide revenue and 20 consecutive months of positive comp sales. Old Chicago also launched its new restaurant prototype – a 5,000 square feet build with an additional 1,000 – 1,200 square feet of outdoor patio space, a new kitchen and upgraded bar technology. To further enhance the experience, the company has also updated its training programs and guest proven menu categories. A growing brand with over 16 years of successful franchise partnerships, Old Chicago is an established multi-unit concept with proven processes to support franchisees with site selection, lease agreements, facility design, operational training and marketing. To fuel franchise growth, the company is seeking multi-unit operators with business, management and foodservice and/or restaurant experience, and a passion for and commitment to exceptional customer service.
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom is a leader in the casual dining restaurant segment, specializing in the best local and regional craft beer, serving handcrafted pizza and distinctive taproom fair. Founded in 1976, the crave-able Old Chicago menu has played a complementary role to the vast craft beer selection, a concept differentiator to this day. With over 30 craft beers on tap, Old Chicago is also the home of the World Beer Tour, which rewards members for enjoying 110 of the best craft beers from across the globe. Old Chicago operates in 24 states with more than 100 restaurants nationwide. Visit www.oldchicago.com to learn more and to find the restaurant nearest you. For information about franchise opportunities, visit www.ocfranchising.com.
CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. is the largest craft brewery restaurant operator in the country with nearly 200 franchised and company-owned restaurants primarily operating under the Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries and ChopHouse & Brewery brands. As a leader in the craft beer focused casual dining segment, CraftWorks also operates strong regional brands, and employs more than 12,000 people throughout the U.S. All of CraftWorks’ restaurant brands have innovative menus with made-from-scratch food and a vast selection of unique craft beer, as well as unbeatable service and loyalty programs with over a million active members. Based in Broomfield, Colo., CraftWorks is not only committed to serving its loyal guests, but also the communities in which its restaurants operate. The CraftWorks Foundation has contributed millions of dollars, positively impacting communities throughout the country. For additional information about CraftWorks, the Foundation, and its restaurant brands, please visit www.craftworksrestaurants.com.