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Mediterranean restaurant franchise plans expansion into Des Moines area


The Colorado-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh plans to open five restaurants in the Des Moines area within the next 24 months, a company official said.

The restaurant chain, described as fast-casual, allows guests to customize their order. “The thing that is unique about us is that everything we create is fresh and prepared on-site,” said Larry Sidoti, Garbanzo’s chief development officer.

The chain began in 2008 as Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. While it got off to a fast start, there were problems with the quality of food and with some franchisees. The restaurant chain rebooted, including acquiring a new name and paring its menu.

In the past year, it has opened restaurants in St. Louis and Indiana. Now it is looking at the Des Moines area. Sidoti expects the company to invest about $3.35 million in the new Des Moines-area restaurant through a combination of franchisee investments and possibility, corporate-owned location development.

Garbanzo restaurants typically are found in retail centers and central business districts. While the chain is hoping to find experienced franchisees to operate the restaurants, the company is also willing to “go it alone,” Sidoti said. 

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