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Why Modern Market's Clean and Sustainable Business Model Appeals to Franchisees Today

The brand takes pride in providing plant-based choices and sustainably sourced, scratch-made dishes, collaborating directly with top suppliers to secure competitive prices for its premium ingredients.

In today's rapidly evolving dining landscape, Modern Market Eatery, the 31-unit fast-casual franchise, stands out with a unique blend of clean ingredients, eco-friendly practices and operational efficiency. With more and more consumers — as well as entrepreneurs — aligning with the brand’s founding principles of health and sustainability, Modern Market is emerging as one of the most compelling franchise opportunities in the fast-casual segment.

A Commitment To Clean Ingredients

Modern Market Eatery's focus on clean, fresh ingredients is a cornerstone of its appeal. “Our commitment to clean, fresh ingredients sets us apart in the fast-casual dining space,” said Chris Cheek, chief development officer of Modern Market Eatery. “Consumers today are more health-conscious and environmentally aware than ever before. They are looking for dining options that reflect these values.” 

The brand prides itself on offering plant-based options and sustainably sourced, scratch-made food, working directly with top suppliers to ensure competitive pricing for its high-quality ingredients. 

This commitment not only supports the environment, but also resonates with consumers who prioritize ethical and sustainable eating practices. According to a recent survey, 90% of consumers say sustainability matters to them and 57% say restaurant sustainability practices are influencing their choices when dining away from home.

The menu, featuring everything from pizzas to salads, reflects this dedication to quality and variety. “Ingredients that are as fresh and whole as those you'd find at a local farmer's market are transformed in our kitchens into innovative, carefully prepared dishes,” said Rob McColgan, co-founder of Modern Market Eatery. 

More Efficient Operations

Modern Market Eatery's scratch-made philosophy not only ensures high-quality food, but also maintains cost efficiency for franchise owners. It may seem counterintuitive, but by using all made-from-scratch ingredients — whole vegetables and fruits, raw chicken, etc. — Modern Market avoids the extra expenses often associated with products. 

"Our higher-quality ingredients actually save us money," said Nate Weir, vice president of culinary at Modern Restaurant Concepts. "Our scratch-made philosophy is central to our brand identity and crucial for maintaining cost efficiency."

Moreover, the strategic use of core ingredients across multiple menu items and the careful structuring of the menu both play crucial roles in keeping costs manageable. 

“We have some core ingredients that can be used across various items like sandwiches, grain bowls and salads, and then we have some ingredients that are just lower cost in general,” Weir said. “Our cheese pizza, for example, is under 20% food costs, and that offsets the costs of a higher category item like salads. Every aspect of the menu has been meticulously designed to not only satisfy the customer but also reduce overall costs for the owner.” 

Sustainability in Practice

Modern Market Eatery's sustainable practices extend beyond the kitchen. The brand leverages its purchasing power, in partnership with Qdoba, another brand under the same parent company, to ensure an efficient and environmentally friendly supply chain. 

“This collaboration allows us to support franchisees with robust distribution networks that can navigate the complexities of commodity fluctuations and potential product shortages,” said Cheek. “The result is a stable and reliable supply chain that benefits both company-owned restaurants and franchisees.”

The integration of sustainable building practices in the restaurant's new prototypes, whether adopting ventless technology or installing LED lighting controls, further enhances its appeal. “By using energy-efficient equipment and materials, we not only reduce our environmental footprint but also lower operational costs for our franchisees,” Cheek said.

A Brighter Future Ahead

For entrepreneurs passionate about food, sustainability and community, Modern Market’s clean and sustainable business model is hard to beat. Now, with an eye on franchise expansion, the brand is poised for continued growth all over the country. 

“We are a fast-casual franchise built specifically for today,” Weir said. “We have a chef-inspired menu with something for everyone, but we don’t have to make cost sacrifices for our franchisees. We are offering that scratch-made food that consumers want, and we’ve figured out how to do it in a real, repeatable and consistent fast-casual setting. That is what sets us up for success in the future.”

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