Newport Beach, California--Ruby's Restaurant Group, franchisor of a mostly West Coast chain of '40s-style diners, envisions doubling in size in the next three years and tripling in five. The company is projecting sales of $75 million this year and has seen comparable sales for units open at least a year jump by about 5.6 percent.
With business humming, the biggest risk in an expansion is not blowing a good thing, growing too quickly, compromising quality or failing to instill the service values in franchise locations. To that end, executives say they are vetting franchisees, so only reputable restaurant owners with several locations will get a shot. Others buying in are former managers. Ruby's plans to open 10 new restaurants in 2003, three company-owned and seven franchised. -Reuters