Natick and a handful of other communities throughout New England have been targeted for franchises by Kelly's Roast Beef, a popular restaurant on Revere Beach that opened in 1951.
"We love the market," Neil Newcomb, CEO of Kelly’s Roast Beef Franchising, said about Worcester. "We want to flush out Greater Boston. That's going to be our focus for the next 24 months."
Kelly's has four locations: Revere Beach, Saugus, Danvers and Medford. All are owned by the two original families that opened the first shop.
The chain, which claims to having invented the modern roast beef sandwich, is launching several franchise opportunities.
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Over the next 24 months, the company plans to open as many as six new franchise restaurants, including locations in Worcester, Natick, Quincy and Providence, according to a news release. In addition to traditional brick and mortar locations, Kelly’s is eyeing “express” locations in mall food courts and at local universities as part of the expansion plans. The ultimate goal is to have as many as 50 total locations open and operating in the next five years, the release said.
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Kelly’s Roast Beef dates back to 1951, when founders Frank McCarthy and Ray Carey first worked together at the Paul Roger House in Revere Beach. The duo decided to go into business together and opened a hot dog stand next door while continuing to work at the inn’s restaurant. The iconic roast beef sandwich was created on a whim one night after a wedding was canceled, and the two took the roast beef from the event to their hot dog stand and served it on a grilled hamburger roll.
“Kelly’s is a known brand that people love," Newcomb said. "People associate it with Boston similarly to the way people associate In-N-Out Burger with California. Customers have a passion for the brand and there are very few franchise opportunities out there founded on over 70 years of history."
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The Kelly’s Roast Beef sandwich includes thinly sliced 25-day aged, medium rare roasted sirloin-tip meat plopped on a buttered, griddled hamburger roll, and topped with any condiments the customer orders plus a slice of cheese.
Including a franchise fee of $40,000, the total initial investment to open a Kelly’s franchise runs between $900,000 and $1.7 million. For the first 10 franchise agreements signed, the royalty will be 3% in year one, 4% for ear two and 5% for the remainder of the term, the release said.
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