US sandwich restaurant chain Melt Shop has plans for domestic and international expansion through franchise development.

Last year, the melted sandwich company launched its franchise programme and signed agreements to develop 26 locations in markets such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Middle East.

As part of its expansion strategy, the restaurant company has invited multi-unit franchisees seeking to diversify their portfolios.

The company, which was set up in 2011, has grown to eight locations – New York, Philadelphia and Minneapolis.

Melt Shop also opened its first international location in Kuwait City early this year as part of a seven restaurant expansion deal in the Middle East.

“As the brand continues to grow, we’re looking for partners that have strong hospitality experience and knowledge of their markets.”

Melt Shop CEO Spencer Rubin said: “It’s been an exciting start to 2018 and we couldn’t be happier with the response our franchise programme has received, both here in the US and around the world.

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“As the brand continues to grow, we’re looking for partners that have strong hospitality experience and knowledge of their markets, and who are passionate about the brand.”

Melt Shop is planning to open domestic outlets in the Northeast, Midwest, and Florida, and also tap overseas markets such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Japan, China, India, Mexico, South America, Canada, Western Europe and Australia.

For a franchisee, an estimated initial investment range of $368,240 to $698,800 is required for the first location, including a franchise fee of $35,000.

Melt Shop COO Josh Morgan said: “We know our franchise partners are a vital part of our brand’s success and will continue to be as we expand our efforts to grow to 100 locations over the next five years.

“We welcome all experienced entrepreneurs and interested multi-unit operators to stop by our booth at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference. There are many opportunities for us to broaden the brand in various regions throughout the world and we’re energised to meet franchisees interested in helping us grow the business.”