Coolgreens franchises making big push into Dallas, Houston markets | Crain's Houston

Coolgreens franchises making big push into Dallas, Houston markets

Healthy restaurant Coolgreens will be making a push into North Texas soon with its first restaurant scheduled to open in Richardson in January.

The Oklahoma City-based restaurant plans to have up to nine locations either open or under construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by the end of 2018, said Clay Carson, vice president of franchise development for Coolgreens. The company is a healthy lifestyle restaurant that was founded by Tom Wolfe in Oklahoma City in 2009. Coolgreens has six company owned locations in the Oklahoma City area.

“The company waited nine years to franchise primarily because they wanted to make sure they understood the food culture, how best to run the company with multiple locations long-term,” Carson said. “We’re working directly with a lot of packers and producers to make sure the quality of the product is beyond superior and is exceptional.”

The exact location in Richardson has not been released but it will be in the Telecomm Corridor off of the President George Bush Turnpike, according to Carson.

The company also plans to expand with new franchises in Tulsa, Houston and San Diego.

Coolgreens offers fresh bowls, flatbreads, sandwiches and wraps loaded with quinoa, fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins. There’s also a build-your-own bar where customers can custom make their own meal.   

“Everything is made fresh and everything is made in small batches,” Carson said. “Everything is replaced in an hour or or so. It provides the optimum quality of the product.”

The health-food market space is growing fast right now and there’s no 800-pound gorilla taking over, yet, said Mark Siebert, franchise consultant at iFranchise Group.

“Right now, the market is not as competitive as some of the other markets that are out there,” said Siebert, referring to the hyper competitive burger, pizza and sandwich segments. “It’s one of those markets where you’re one step ahead of the trend right now and there’s going to be some pretty substantial winners that come out of this. I suspect that this will be very similar to what we saw with the explosion of the frozen yogurt.”

For competition sake, Carson likened it to a hybrid of Panera Bread and a traditional salad restaurant.

Besides Richardson, Carson said he’s looking at locations in Uptown Dallas, Midtown Dallas, Addison and several suburbs from Mansfield to Southlake.

The franchises can typically be built in a shell space within 90 days for about $350,000 all in, Carson said.

The average unit volume for a store is more than $800,000, according to Coolgreens’ website.

They’d like to carve the North Texas area into five territories, with each franchise owner having a minimum of three locations.

“That gives everyone a lot of space, a lot of territory and a lot of opportunity,” Carson said.

An urban environment with a large concentration of Millennials would be ideal, Siebert said.

“People are becoming more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies," he said.

November 2, 2017 - 10:50pm