Advisory Firm for Emerging Franchisors Purchases Burgeoning Fry Cafe with National Potential
ZorAbility, an advisory and investment strategy firm for emerging franchise brands, announced today it has acquired GetFried, a 12–unit, French fry-focused, quick service restaurant concept. Terms of the deal were finalized June 25, 2019.
Under ZorAbility’s guidance, the franchise will be named GetFried Franchise USA, LLC, and franchise-industry veteran Mark Lyso will serve as president. ZorAbility and Lyso will tap into GetFried’s immense potential and appeal to a broader audience through enhancements to its menu and branding.
ZorAbility was launched in 2016 by Sam Ballas, president and CEO of East Coast Wings + Grill. Ballas took “zor” from franchisor, and ability from, “the ability in structuring a formula for launching and scaling an emerging brand.” After spending years studying the changing restaurant landscape and establishing best practices for growing EBITDA at East Coast Wings + Grill, Ballas developed a unique skillset for and found success with investing and advising emerging brands.
GetFried is an attractive first acquisition for Ballas and ZorAbility due to its compact real estate footprint per location, lower labor costs, high-gross margins and quick scalability. “GetFried is an ideal brand for non-traditional locations, international and highly-populated markets,” said Ballas. “Through franchising, we anticipate scaling GetFried anywhere between 200 to 250 locations over the next five years.”
Founded by friends and business partners Chris Covelli and Garrett Green, GetFried was launched in February 2015 with the opening of a concept store in Buffalo’s Walden Galleria Mall. After early success, Covelli and Green opened a second corporate store in December 2015 in the Fashion Outlet Mall in Niagara Falls. In 2016, the friends franchised GetFried and grew across the country. The founders will still be involved in GetFried.
ZorAbility, based in Winston-Salem, was founded by Sam Ballas in 2016 as a vehicle to advise emerging franchise brands. Longtime franchise industry veterans Mark Lyso, Tom Scalese and Sammy Gianopoulos (all with ZorAbility) and Brad Fishman joined as investors in 2019 as the company began to acquire growing franchise concepts.
GetFried is a quick-serve restaurant chain specializing in gourmet topped French fries and finger foods for the on-the-go consumer. GetFried locations utilize mobile units, concession, walk-up and sit-down cafe formatted stores for the lunch, evening and late-night consumers throughout malls, college towns, sports arenas, casinos, airports, gas stations, movie theaters and downtown urban entertainment districts. For more information, visit getfried.com.