Triple Threat

Snack Stand

Veteran franchisor spices up its menu.

Since first seeking snack stardom in 1976 with its Everything Yogurt concept, Restaurant Systems International Inc. has added a bevy of delectable offerings to tempt both hungry customers and ambitious franchisees.

Change has been key for the New York City franchise company: In 1995, the then-19-year-old Everything Yogurt Inc. altered its identity with a new name, a necessity because yogurt was no longer "everything." Greenleaf's Grille and Treat Street, two new prototypes, are umbrella concepts under which the company's other brands will fall. Greenleaf's Grille's menu offers healthy tantalizers like freshly prepared grilled sandwiches, wraps and salads. Treat Street houses Gretel's Pretzels, Bananas and Everything Yogurt Express. Through mid-1999, expect new additions to Treat Street's menu: Muffins, cookies, gourmet coffee and a private-label Treat Street ice cream are in the works.

April's debut of the company-owned Greenleaf's Grille and Treat Street in New York City's Staten Island Mall saw a 40 percent revenue increase since last year, when Everything Yogurt & Salad Café and Bananas inhabited the space. President Tom Romano understands why: "Now you can be as imaginative as you choose and eat as healthy as you want," he says.

Romano says the success of these prototypes and the strength of their menu offerings have unleashed numerous possibilities. The company can now bring Greenleaf's Grille and Treat Street to strip malls and downtown locations, plus regional malls and airports. In addition to location-specific franchises, the company will offer franchisees master and multiunit franchise options in addition to existing single-unit deals.

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This article was originally published in the October 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Triple Threat.

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