Papa Romano’s, Mr. Pita add 4 states

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Michigan-based fast food chains Papa Romano’s and Mr. Pita said Tuesday they have signed master franchisee agreements to begin opening locations in Colorado, Texas and North Carolina as part of an out-of-state expansion announced last year.

The Papa Romano’s, Mr. Pita or co-branded stores could begin opening as soon as this summer in metropolitan Denver, Houston and Charlotte, N.C., said Casey Askar, chairman and CEO for both companies. In addition, Mr. Pita said it has finalized an agreement to open the first store near Buffalo, N.Y. this spring.

The pizza and sandwich-wrap chains merged last August in Commerce Township. The first out-of-state Mr. Pita opened earlier this month in suburban Orlando, Fla.

“We’ve identified strong partners in each of those states who have the skill, experience and business acumen to serve as master franchisees for growing our brands in those territories,” Askar said in a statement. “We are now in the process of looking for new store sites and prospective franchisees for those areas.”

The company said it plans to open “upwards of 100” single or co-branded Papa Romano’s and Mr. Pita stores near Denver and in northeast Colorado through two master franchisees who will also serve as franchising agents in the area. In Houston, the company plans to open at least 120 single or co-branded stores through two master franchisees.

The company plans at least 30 Mr. Pita sites in an area that includes metropolitan Charlotte, N.C. and northwest South Carolina. Joseph Gerbino, who owns four Michigan franchises, and Thomas Bommarito of Troy are among the three franchisees in that market.1

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