Mediterranean chain targets Indianapolis area for multiple restaurants

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh plans to open 25 locations in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio over the next five years, starting with a location in the Indianapolis area.

Carmel residents Lee Kleiner and Brian Kahn of Janes Franchising LLC, who have an area development agreement, are scouting locations for their first Garbanzo Mediterranean, which will likely be in Hamilton County or the north side of Indianapolis. Kleiner said he’s aiming to open the location by the end of the year.

The Colorado-based restaurant chain currently has 30 locations, including one in Indiana at the University of Notre Dame. Others are in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Kleiner said Janes Franchising will identify other franchisees who will open additional Garbanzo Mediterranean locations in Indiana as well as in the Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington metro areas. 

Real estate broker Crystal Kennard of Lee and Associates Commercial Real Estate will work with Kleiner and Kahn to identify locations for the sites.

“We’re kind of in the infancy stages of figuring out where we’re going to be,” Kleiner said. 

Kleiner said he expects it will take five to eight years to reach 25 restaurants. He doesn’t yet know how many of those will be in the Indianapolis area.

“I think central Indiana could support a good amount of these restaurants, for sure, but I don’t have a number in my head.”

Kleiner and Kahn are experienced franchisees, currently operating three Dairy Queen and four Which Wich Superior Sandwiches locations around central Indiana.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, founded in 2008, is a fast-casual restaurant that sells items such as gyros, kabobs, falafel, baba ganoush, tabbouleh salad and baklava. Customers order their food by walking along a serving line and telling an employee what they want, similar to the process at a Subway or Moe’s Southwest Grill.

All items are prepared in-house, including the pita and hummus, and the restaurant also offers catering. The restaurants typically take up 1,800 square feet and average $1.2 million per year in sales, with an average check of about $11.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh also plans to open a location at Denver International Airport this summer, and it has multiple development deals in the pipeline, each of which involves 10 or more locations. 

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