Announces 2008 Openings in U.S., Europe and Middle East
McLean, VA (March 24, 2008)—Kent Hahne, President and CEO of Vapiano International, LLC, a subsidiary of the German company Vapiano AG, announced today plans to open over 80 new restaurants in the next four to eight years, expanding its presence in North America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Less than one year ago the company launched its operations to the U.S., opening a head office in McLean, Virginia and three restaurants in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. At only five years old, the young company is preparing to triple in size.
Currently Vapiano International operates 31 restaurants in nine countries and in 2007 saw successful openings in the U.S., Budapest and Istanbul. Recently, Vapiano hired U.S. based COO Martin Luible as well as Franchise Service Director Gerhard Mairamhof, based in Vienna, Austria. Together, under the leadership of Hahne, they work with their teams on developing the operational structure for this rapidly expanding franchise of innovative restaurants. In 2008 new restaurants are expected in Estonia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Serbia and Croatia. Additionally, deals have been signed for another restaurant in Washington, D.C. as well as locations in Ft. Myers, Florida, Dallas and downtown Boston.
With new openings each month, Vapiano continues to garner global attention for their approach to dining – fresh herbs adorn each table and an in-house garden, dishes are prepared at high temperature induction wok stations and a unique Microsoft chip card payment system round out each diner’s ultra-modern experience. Already, Hahne has been identified by Fast Casual Magazine as one of the Top 100 Movers and Shakers in the industry and Vapiano received the coveted Hot Concept Award in 2006 from Food Service Europe & Middle East Magazine.
On the company’s expansion Hahne said, “2008 will be a benchmark year for Vapiano as we set our sights on expanding.” He continued, “We are confident that by basing our operations in northern Virginia and Vienna we can provide the best possible service to our growing number of franchisees around the world.”
Looking to the future, Vapiano is setting the bar for mid-size franchise expansion. In the U.S. alone the company has completed development franchise contracts for six stores in Southwest Florida, ten in Dallas, three in Boston and is currently negotiating licenses in Las Vegas, Indiana, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Internationally there are already development contracts for restaurants in Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, South Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Omar and Qatar with plans to expand to markets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia and Mexico.
With the continued growth of the brand, and the popularity of Vapiano’s fresh pasta and pizza across cultures, the company is definitely one to watch.