Melt Shop Signs First Domestic Franchise

NEW YORK — Melt Shop, which operates a small chain of melted sandwich fast-food restaurants, has signed its first domestic franchise agreement with 717 Food Group. The new partner will open their first Melt Shop in Staten Island Mall, in Staten Island next year.

Founded by Spencer Rubin in 2011, Melt Shop currently has eight corporate locations throughout New YorkPhiladelphia, and Minneapolis, and recently signed a multi-unit deal to open seven restaurants in the Middle East, in which four will open by the second quarter of 2018. The brand plans to grow to 100 locations over the next five years.

Melt Shop is a part of Aurify Brands, which was founded by Andy Stern and John Rigos, who are Five Guys Burgers franchisees, and former franchisees of Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Baskin-Robbins. Aurify Brands also owns and operates The Little Beet, The Little Beet Table, Fields Good Chicken, and MAKE Sandwich.

“We’re thrilled that just weeks after the announcement of our franchise program launch, we’ve signed our first franchisee — and in our own backyard,” said Spencer Rubin, Melt Shop Founder. “717 Food Group’s passion and excitement for Melt Shop combined with their hospitality and operations experience and achievements makes them the perfect partner.”

717 Food Group is led by Roxanne Mallilo, with her brother Michael Manniello acting as her partner. The brother-and-sister duo has over 40 years of combined experience in hospitality and restaurants, with a prominent presence in airports.

“When my brother approached me about opening Melt Shop’s first franchised restaurant, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Mallilo, chief executive officer of 717 Food Group. “Aside from its phenomenal product, we were blown away by Melt Shop’s business model, operational excellence, and the unparalleled support we received from its dedicated and passionate team. We’re thrilled to stand behind an emerging concept and continue to grow with the brand.”

Melt Shop’s focus is simple: melted sandwiches made with high-quality ingredients. There are three restaurants located in Manhattan.

Melt Shop is seeking qualified franchisees to join the brand and currently has opportunities domestically in markets such as the Northeast, Midwest, and Florida, and in most international markets, including the Middle EastSoutheast AsiaJapanChinaIndiaMexicoSouth AmericaCanadaWestern Europe, and Australia. Melt Shop has an initial investment range of $368,240 – $698,800 for the first location, including a franchise fee of $35,000 and a sales range of $1,016,984 – $1,640,406 (sale range based on Melt Shops’ six corporate restaurants open over 12 months as of end of 2016.