Licensing Key For Einstein Noah Growth In ’09

Fast Casual:

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. is sticking to plans to grow mostly by adding licensed locations in 2009 as diners eat out less and credit markets remain tight, the company has announced.

The fast-casual coffee and bagel chain said this month that it plans to open six to eight new restaurants on its own, matched with the same number of franchise restaurants this year, where franchisees develop a new store that meets company guidelines.

It also plans to open 30 to 35 license restaurants, where licensees use the company’s brands to open bagel and coffee operations in such locations as airports, colleges and hospitals.

Einstein Noah started the year with 648 Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel restaurants. A little more than one-third were franchised or licensed locations.

The company aims for about half its restaurants to be franchised or licensed by 2012.

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