Melt Shop, a New York-based sandwich shop founded in 2011, announced today the opening of the brand's first restaurant in Newark at the Christiana Mall. The shop is owned and operated by veteran franchisee Drew Smith.
Smith plans to open 21 Melt Shop locations throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He opened Melt Shop's King of Prussia location in Pennsylvania in April of this year and has three additional locations slated to open in 2019.
Smith is a seasoned multi-unit operator with more than 23 years of experience in the fast-casual restaurant space. In addition to Melt Shop in King of Prussia, Smith owns and operates 23 Five Guys locations throughout greater Philadelphia.
"The opening of our first franchised restaurant is a significant milestone for our brand as we remain on track to nearly double in size by the end of the year," said Spencer Rubin, founder and CEO of Melt Shop. "As we accelerate this momentum moving into 2019, we're grateful to have a knowledgeable and experienced partner like Drew, who shares our dedication to operational excellence. We believe our brand and product will resonate with the Newark community and look forward to our continued growth throughout the state and beyond."
The brand has continued to identify the Northeast as a key region for development and has aggressive growth plans for New Jersey, as well as New York, with four new restaurants currently in development.
"Melt Shop's strong performance has allowed us to invest our company capital in key target markets like New Jersey, which has massive, upside potential for our brand. Bringing Melt Shop to my home state feels like things have come full circle, and I'm excited to continue growing our footprint throughout the state," added Rubin.
Both new restaurants feature the company's newest storefront design and kitchen package, which includes Melt Shop's signature double-stacked conveyor oven that enhances food quality and shortens ticket wait times. Melt Shop named one of Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers & Shakers.