Vapiano Signs Franchise Deal for Manhattan

According to a press release, Christophe Scherman has purchased the rights to open Vapiano restaurants in New York City. Vapiano, the innovative fresh casual restaurant and lounge, has exploded in popularity across Europe and the U.S. and recently announced new deals in exciting markets such as Houston, Chicago, and Atlanta. Vapiano is an innovative fresh casual restaurant and lounge chain with over 55 locations in 16 countries worldwide. Vapiano has six U.S. locations open, including two in Washington, DC, and restaurants in Arlington, VA, Dulles, VA, Dallas, TX and Fort Myers, FL. After winning Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2008 ‘Hot Concept!’ award and the 2006 European Hot Concept Award from Food Service Europe & Middle East, Vapiano continues to amplify its momentum and shows no sign of slowing.

Christophe Scherman attended St. John’s University and graduated with a degree in Management.  Scherman moved to Dubai to complete a hospitality management internship at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa and then on to Germany for an extensive management program with Hilton Hotels.  Scherman is looking to open his first location in lower Manhattan

“We picked this market knowing it’s the number one restaurant market in the country.  It’s also extremely rare to see New York territory available.  The sites we are getting looks at and the way the unit economics are working out, it proved to make more sense for us to move from Europe to New York City.  Once you factor in the imbalance between the euro and the dollar, the current economy really works to our advantage,” said Scherman.  “We fully expect to be 50% above Vapiano’s average same store sales here in the US.  The time is right and the time is now for a concept like Vapiano here in Manhattan.”

Mark Frankel of Newmark Knight Frank Retail, the tenant broker representing Scherman, commented, “The timing for Vapiano couldn’t be better.  Prime locations, previously priced too high for casual and fast casual restaurants are back within reach.  Landlords are particularly reaching for quality brands that can be positioned to add value to their properties.  Dropping rents often combined with aggressive concessions are significantly lowering costs of going into business.”

Scherman’s deal will add to more than 100 new Vapiano units already in development throughout the next four to eight years, expanding the concept’s presence in North America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. At just over five years old, the young company is preparing to triple in size. Currently Vapiano International operates over 55 restaurants in sixteen countries. In the U.S. alone the company has closed deals for six stores in Southwest Florida, ten in Dallas, two in San Jose, five in Houston and three stores in Boston, Detroit and Atlanta.  New international locations are in the making throughout Mexico, Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and France.  Open international locations include 28 in Germany, 3 in Austria, 2 each in Holland, Poland, Sweden, Hungary, and the United Arab Emirates,  and one in Croatia, Estonia, England, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey and the.

Vapiano appeared in Fast Casual Magazine’s 2008 list of ‘Movers and Shakers’ for the second year in a row and was named one of the top ten “Best Employers” in Germany for 2008.  Vapiano President, Kent Hahne, was named a finalist for CMO of the Year by Booz Allen Hamilton in 2007.  In 2006, Vapiano won the coveted European Hot Concept Award from Food Service Europe & Middle East. In 2008, Vapiano was a recipient of the Nation’s Restaurant News Hot Concept! award.

About Vapiano:

If You Love the European Lifestyle You Will Love Vapiano!

Somewhere between the nicest of fast casual and hippest of casual dining restaurants is Vapiano.

Defining the future of fresh casual – a new and refreshing niche in the restaurant industry – Vapiano is an innovative European concept serving fresh, house-made pasta, made-to-order fire roasted pizzas, hand tossed gourmet salads. Vapiano continues to garner global attention for their approach to dining – dishes are prepared at high temperature exhibition style wok stations, fresh herbs adorn each table and a unique chip card payment system rounds out each diner’s ultra-modern experience.  The restaurant’s pioneering self-service technology and unmistakable upscale décor has created a huge customer fan base and helped fuel the company’s worldwide expansion.  Restaurants are 5,000-8,000 square feet and seat 180-220 guests. An established concept with more than 55 worldwide locations and another 100 in development in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Vapiano puts a new spin on the dining experience with its urban upscale Italian decor and its modern customer service.