QDOBA signs 30-unit development deal with Thrive Restaurant Group; Thrive plans to open 30 units by 2028 in North Carolina and South Carolina, focusing on key cities

Sample article from our Foodservice Industry

July 10, 2024 (press release) –

Thrive Restaurant Group, operating over 170 restaurants across 5 brands, brings over 45 years of experience to the QDOBA system, in which it plans to open 30 units by 2028 in North Carolina and South Carolina.

QDOBA, America’s #2 restaurant brand in the Mexican fast-casual category, today announced that it has signed a 30-unit development agreement with one of America’s strongest franchisee operators, Thrive Restaurant Group, led by CEO Jon Rolph. The deal will bring QDOBA restaurants in an accelerated fashion throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, with a focus on Greenville (NC), Wilmington (NC), Myrtle Beach (SC), Columbia (SC), and Greenville (SC). Thrive Restaurant Group, the second largest Applebee’s franchisee, employs over 8,000 people across 5 brands, 170 restaurants, and 15 states.

“We are thrilled to partner with Jon and his Thrive team,” said John Cywinski, CEO of QDOBA. “Jon Rolph is a tremendous leader, partner, and culture-builder, and one of the best franchisees I’ve had the pleasure to partner with throughout my career. QDOBA is an exceptionally well-positioned brand in the most attractive restaurant category and I’m confident Thrive will help us unlock our full potential in the Carolinas.”

“We are delighted to enter the QDOBA system alongside John Cywinski and the QDOBA team,” said Jon Rolph, CEO of Thrive Restaurant Group. “QDOBA is a powerful brand with big-time momentum and an unbelievably bright future. We can’t wait to get started.”

“I am extremely excited to bring on Thrive as a pivotal franchise partner for years to come,” said Jeremy Vitaro, Chief Development Officer at QDOBA. “Thrive is planning to enter the Carolinas with boldness and speed. We believe that Thrive will propel our system in reaching new heights with the high quality of their buildouts and operations, and their deep focus on guest hospitality.”

QDOBA is in a period of rapid new restaurant expansion, set to open more than 50 restaurants this year in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. QDOBA plans to nearly double its current footprint of more than 760 restaurants to a projected 1,600 restaurants over the next decade, which will include partnerships in whitespace markets coupled with existing development across core geographies.


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