Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, a leader in casual dining known for its handcrafted pizza, distinctive taproom fare, and vast craft beer selection, announced it signed a four-unit franchise development agreement to open new restaurants in South Carolina in Greenville, Spartanburg, and Horry counties, with the first location slated to open in Myrtle Beach in the fourth quarter of 2016. This announcement comes on the heels of a year of record-breaking success and is part of Old Chicago's aggressive franchise expansion plans for South Carolina.

"I've owned restaurants for the majority of my life and have been in search of a new venture with a brand that's committed to high quality customer service and ongoing product innovation. Old Chicago embodies that and more, and has proven to be a leader in the casual dining segment," says Brent Collier, Old Chicago franchisee. "Old Chicago has not only experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, but also continues to establish itself as The Craft Beer Authority, going above and beyond to provide guests an expansive craft beer selection to complement its distinctive menu. We look forward to providing an exceptional experience and introducing more South Carolina residents to Old Chicago."

A restaurant industry veteran and well-respected multi-unit operator, Brent Collier brings a wealth of knowledge from his five decades of experience to Old Chicago. He's owned a variety of franchises throughout his career, including The Melting Pot, Quaker Steak & Lube, Golden Corral and TGI Fridays, all of which he still owns today. Following the development of his first restaurant in Myrtle Beach, Collier will open additional locations in Greenville and Spartanburg over the next three years. 

"We're thrilled to welcome Brent, Lori and Elise to our growing Old Chicago family," adds Mark A. Belanger, CFE, vice president of global franchise operations and development for CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., operating company of Old Chicago. "Their deep-rooted experience in the restaurant franchise space will lend itself to achieving the level of success we know they're capable of. We look forward to watching the Collier's grow Old Chicago's presence in the South Carolina, and are eager to share the Old Chicago concept with the communities they'll serve."

Old Chicago experienced record-breaking success in 2015, achieving $254 million in system-wide revenue and 20 consecutive months of positive comp sales. Old Chicago also launched its new restaurant prototype—a 5,000-square-foot build with an additional 1,000 to 1,200 square feet of outdoor patio space, a new kitchen and upgraded bar technology. To further enhance the experience, the company has also updated its training programs and guest proven menu categories. A growing brand with over 16 years of successful franchise partnerships, Old Chicago is an established multi-unit concept with proven processes to support franchisees with site selection, lease agreements, facility design, operational training and marketing. To fuel franchise growth, the company is seeking multi-unit operators with business, management and foodservice and/or restaurant experience, and a passion for and commitment to exceptional customer service.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, NextGen Casual, Old Chicago