US-based fast-casual restaurant chain Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has signed a new franchise deal to further expand its footprint in the country.

The company signed a four-store agreement with franchisee John Cassity to open new locations in the states of Utah and Colorado. Cassity already operates five Einstein Bros Bagel shops and four Subway sandwich shops.

According to the agreement, Cassity will open the first two Fuzzy’s Taco Shop locations at Grand Junction, Colorado, and St George, Utah, in the second half of the year.

Following the openings, the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop network in Utah will be further expanded.

Commenting on the franchise deal, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop CEO Paul Damico said: “John is a highly qualified and experienced restaurant operator who we know will maintain the integrity of the brand and Fuzzy’s culture.”

Cassity stated: “When I was looking at concepts to complement my existing brand portfolio. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop kept checking off all the boxes for me. What really impressed me was their flexible footprint, which can be tailored to each specific space and market.

“Additionally, Fuzzy’s offers a completely unique concept with affordable food and signature drinks, so from a competition standpoint it really stands on its own.”

In January, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop signed a 50-store agreement with franchisee Richard Maddox. The deal included opening stores in Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as increasing the brand’s footprint in the existing markets of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Founded in 2003, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop specialises in Baja-style Mexican cuisine. It has around 150 franchise- and corporate-owned locations across 18 US states. The planned openings in Alabama and Utah will further expand its footprint to 20 states.