Twisted Kitchen Franchise Information

Own a Twisted Kitchen

ABOUT TWISTED KITCHEN

  • How much it costs
  • About Twisted Kitchen
  • Why Twisted Kitchen / Why Now?
  • What Sets Twisted Kitchen Apart?
  • Why Restaurants?
  • Why You?
  • Why Franchisees Love the Brand
  • What Is the Investment?

This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. An offer is made only by a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Currently, the following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states or a country whose laws regulate the offer and sale of franchises, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.

$341,000 - $632,200
Start-Up Cost
$35,000
Initial Franchise Fee
5%
Royalty

Twisted Kitchen is a pasta, salad and wrap bar franchise based in Georgia. Established in 2009, the restaurant showcases a unique blend of flavors, serving up dishes with a "twist" — from pasta bowls to salads and wraps. Today, Twisted Kitchen has expanded to include three corporate-owned locations in Atlanta, Smyrna and Marietta, where guests know and love the brand as an enjoyable and unique fast casual spot where they can spice up their typical meal options. 

With a menu well-catered to today’s consumers, a flexible business model and a franchisee-focused culture, Twisted Kitchen is ready to expand across the Southeast, aiming to sign three franchise agreements and open two locations by the end of 2024. 

As part of their strategic growth plan for 2023 and beyond, Twisted Kitchen has recently collaborated with the renowned group of franchise and dining professionals at Goliath Consulting Group.

Now, the Twisted Kitchen team is ready to leverage that unparalleled industry experience to help usher in a new era of growth for the franchise. 

The Twisted Kitchen brand stands out in the crowded restaurant landscape with a signature franchise model — fast-casual dining with a twist. 

Perhaps one of Twisted Kitchen's biggest standout features is its streamlined operational model, which is designed to operate efficiently with a small team of just two to four employees. Such a setup keeps labor costs in check, even during peak times. Moreover, the brand is equipped to operate in nontraditional spaces, such as college campuses or airports, due to its flexible real estate requirements and operating model. 

Despite its operational simplicity, Twisted Kitchen doesn't compromise on the quality of its offerings. Doing away with the typical freezer-to-fryer methods, the brand emphasizes fresh and wholesome dishes. They are also inclusive and hyper-aware of changing consumer preferences, offering plant-based options, gluten-free options, vegetarian options and more. The brand also regularly partners with other brands to diversify their menu.

The global fast casual restaurants market, which has seen a significant spike in growth this year, was valued at $169 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a whopping CAGR of 10.2% over the next 10 years. 

But not just any restaurant can thrive in today’s market. A recent study showed that 53% of Millennial diners considered “a new experience” to be a crucial element in choosing somewhere to eat, primarily citing “unique food options” as a key factor. Diners are seeking novel experiences that cannot be easily replicated at home and want to break the unglamorous monotony of everyday routines. 

A 2022 study from McKinsey & Company found that 71% of consumers expected companies to deliver personalized interactions. That is a big part of why the “build-your-own-bowl” segment has become so wildly popular across all types of cuisines. 

Catering to these customization preferences, the Twisted Kitchen brand wants to ensure its options are limitless. Customers can choose a pasta, wrap or salad and create their own dish from a kitchen full of fresh meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces. Proteins, for example, range from grilled chicken to gulf shrimp to meatballs; pasta options range from tri-colored rotini to rice noodles; sauces range from marinara all the way to oriental sesame and mandarin orange ginger. 

Furthermore, Twisted Kitchen constantly innovates its menu to keep up with changing consumer preferences, whether that be introducing plant-based options, gluten-free pastas or vegetarian meals. 

All options are sauteed fresh to order and guests can watch the entire meal being prepared in front of them, making adjustments along the way. In today’s world of food shows and food influencers, that experiential component is a big selling point.

Twisted Kitchen welcomes franchise owners from two distinct backgrounds: passionate local entrepreneurs or seasoned investors familiar with managing multiple units in a semi-absentee capacity. The ideal candidate is either someone who wants to enter the restaurant world as an entrepreneur — they have the business skills, but maybe not the restaurant skills — or mature franchisees who have built out their portfolio and are looking for a new concept. The beauty of the concept is that either type of franchise owner can thrive.

Now, Twisted Kitchen is concentrating its franchise growth in Georgia, the Carolinas and the broader Southeast U.S., to maintain proximity to its Atlanta roots. The plan for the upcoming year is to engage with 30 potential partners, secure three franchise agreements and open two outlets.

Overall, the innovative approach of Twisted Kitchen, combined with a lucrative investment structure and the backing of a knowledgeable leadership squad, presents a compelling opportunity for those looking to venture into the restaurant franchise domain.

Twisted Kitchen is uniquely devoted to its franchise partners. When it comes to franchisee support and onboarding, new owners and their lead managers undergo comprehensive training that spans various aspects of the business, from site choice and marketing to recruitment and daily operations, ensuring they're fully equipped before the restaurant launch.

Plus, with Goliath Consulting onboard, incoming franchise owners can tap into an even deeper well of restaurant and franchising industry knowledge. Goliath connects franchisees with operations consultants, training managers and vendor contracts to help with marketing, PR, construction and legal. They also have a 250-point checklist for new restaurant openings across their portfolio, which makes it easier for a partner like Twisted Kitchen. Those established systems are already in place even though it is an emerging brand. 

The total investment necessary to begin operation of a Twisted Kitchen franchise is $341,000 to $632,200. This includes $35,000 that must be paid to the franchisor or affiliate. The total investment necessary to begin operation under a three- to five-unit Multi-Unit Development Agreement (including the first unit) is $377,000 to $695,000. This includes $70,000 to $105,000 that must be paid to the franchisor.

For more information, visit: https://tkfranchising.com/

executive

Executive Q&A: Twisted Kitchen President Shane Cawthon & Goliath Consulting Group Chief Consulting Officer Reggie CoachmanExecutive Q&A: Twisted Kitchen President Shane Cawthon & Goliath Consulting...

1851 Franchise connects with the Twisted Kitchen team to learn more about the origins of the pasta bar franchise, why the menu appeals to the Millennial crowd and how the business model positions franchisees for success. 

Twisted Kitchen, the Atlanta-based pasta and salad franchise, is on the cusp of massive growth. Shane Cawthon, a former investor who recently took over as president of the company, is currently at the helm of the ship and has big plans for the future. In order to achieve those plans, Twisted Kitchen has brought in the impressive team of franchise and restaurant industry experts at Goliath Consulting Group. Now, Twisted Kitchen is ready to expand across the country, aiming to sign three franchise agreements and open two locations by the end of the year. 

1851 Franchise spoke with both Cawthon and Reggie Coachman, Chief Consulting Officer at Goliath, to learn more about the concept, the plan for the future and the advantages of the franchise opportunity. 

1851 Franchise: Shane, let's start with you. How did you fall into franchising?

Cawthon: It was actually kind of by accident. I wasn’t the founder of Twisted Kitchen. It was started in 2009 by a friend of a friend. My brother and I invest in various businesses, so we met him for lunch and enjoyed the food. We really liked the concept and decided to invest in 2014. We saw it as another great addition to our investment portfolio. Many franchise buyers likely go through a similar path. 

For various reasons, the direction of the investment changed, leading to an inflection point. The original owner had some issues, but at that point, we were deeply invested in the concept, so it was either shut down and lose everything or take over the whole business and try to grow. We chose to grow, which is when we reached out to Goliath for their expertise since we had no restaurant experience ourselves.

1851 Franchise: Reggie, I have two questions for you. First, can you share your franchise story, how you got into franchising, and then, if franchising can be made easy, as Shane experienced, how can brands grow more easily?

Coachman: I started in the restaurant business when I was in college as a part-time job. I worked with two franchisees in Tampa. One had many years of experience in restaurants, while the other was mostly an investor. They allowed me to be the first part-time manager in their business. At that time, they had about 10 restaurants, and by the time I left, we had grown to 24. That was my introduction to the franchise model. Fast forward, I eventually had the chance to lead a franchising group as part of Focus Brands. Today, I have over 35 years of experience in leadership roles with Concessions International, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Church’s Chicken and Arby’s.

Over the years, I've been involved in franchising at different levels. I've owned my own franchise and been on both the corporate and franchisee sides. A good relationship between a franchisor and franchisee is crucial. In Twisted Kitchen, we ensure that we have relationships that prioritize people first and business second.

1851 Franchise: When considering something like Twisted Kitchen, is your goal to grow it so that a major company like Focus Brands might be interested in adding it to their portfolio?

Coachman: A business dies when you manage through an FDD. Are you holding onto your franchisee lens and the way you're positioning this business? To the first question, yes. We certainly look at an exit strategy that says if we get up to 50 or 100 units, then we would definitely entertain spinning this off to someone else. Everything's for sale, as they say. Larger franchise systems consider 100 plus units the right size for purchase, but there are other franchisors that will start to take a look at us when we're at that 30 to 50 unit range. What we're mindful of is building an infrastructure that plugs and plays with how they do business. 

Secondly, I've learned from my experiences of bad situations with franchisees. It's no fun if you're sitting at the table getting ready to apply liquidated damages to a franchisee because they are six months behind in paying their royalties. You know that those liquidated damages are probably going to affect them personally. Yet, you still have that contract. I've been successful working with my franchise accounting teams and working with legal to come up with creative ways to have as much of a win-win separation as possible, as opposed to not considering the relationship. 

We, as a franchisor, do a lot of coddling with the franchisee to bring them on board. We don't necessarily make promises, but we certainly allude to what success could look like for them. I've been fortunate to be a part of writing many FDDs. While keeping the franchisor’s best interests in the FDD, I also make sure there are nuggets in there that allow the franchisee the opportunity to create their own growth. One of the successes of franchising, in my opinion, is entering the relationship with everyone's eyes open. 

1851 Franchise: Reggie, you got introduced to Twisted Kitchen when you were doing the evaluation on it. What did you like about this opportunity that made you say there's viability in this business?

Coachman: Typically, in the restaurant business, the first box you need to check is the quality of the food. If you've got good food, then you have a foundation to sell on. Using metrics from Yelp, Google and other avenues, we've found that people love the Twisted Kitchen food. 

The second thing I notice is the structure of the franchise system. Everything on the menu is pretty straightforward at Twisted Kitchen. The suppliers provide items that aren't high-cost, making it very manageable. The footprint is 1,500-square-feet, which means you could set it up in a strip center and don't necessarily need a drive-thru, although that could be an option in the future. 

The cost of entry for this brand is also reasonable, so it's an easy transition for someone leaving corporate America to move into franchising. The labor requirements are simple; with just two to four people, you can effectively run the business. 

I also appreciate the uniqueness of Twisted Kitchen. There are no fryers, so it isn't a freezer-fried concept. If you want a healthy meal, you can easily get one. Plus, with the rise of Millennials and Gen Z's "me society", customers can customize their meals based on preferences. We've addressed different categories, such as plant-based items. The brand is also positioned well for non-traditional locations

Those are some of the things that we looked at when we went to Shane and said, "Hey, this is something that you can franchise. People really do like it." A lot of the elements that make or break a restaurant or franchise system, I felt that we could deliver on.

1851 Franchise: Shane, when you hear all this, are you excited about it as an investor? 

Cawthon: I am definitely excited about it. When we took over, I didn't have time to handle the day-to-day due to other business interests. After discussions with Goliath, my excitement for its future potential grew. From an operations perspective, and from my viewpoint as an investor, things seem synergistic. The product's appeal is undeniable. In fact, I'm winding down some of my day-to-day tasks. I've discussed with Goliath about opening a restaurant close to my office so that I can be involved daily. That's how I envision my retirement.

Coachman: My excitement is heightened when Shane and his brother Trent involve their family in the business. Especially with Shane's parents, who were previously in business, it's wonderful to see their support and feedback. 

1851 Franchise: Reggie, one last clarifying question just in case anybody's reading this and is intrigued by the business opportunity. Shane's story is somewhat semi-absentee operator in the model. Nearest restaurant isn’t just down the road, and he owns the business. Can you be semi-absentee in your mind in a restaurant like this or is this owner-operator driven?

Coachman: One ideal franchise owner is a person leaving the corporate world wanting to start their own franchise model. However, we do have another model that says if you are an existing multi-unit franchisee who may be 100 miles away, you could still succeed if you have infrastructure. Our team certainly could support that franchise owner because, basically, he's a multi-unit franchisor. If you have 150 or 200 units, you likely have a structure very similar to the corporate environment, so you certainly could operate this concept 200 miles away. But if that was not the case, we would limit our ability to support a franchisee because we want to touch and feel them. Shane, for example, is probably in Atlanta two to three times a month, visiting the restaurants. So, he's not as absentee as is the typical absentee investor. He's in the business, talking with his staff and watching what's going on.

1851 Franchise: What are your goals for the future?

Coachman: We are focusing our growth efforts in Georgia, the Carolinas and the Southeast U.S. in order to stay closer to our home-base of Atlanta. The plan is to bring in 30 prospects, close three deals and finalize two openings over the next year.

The total investment necessary to begin operation of a Twisted Kitchen franchise is $341,000 to $632,200. For more information, visit: https://tkfranchising.com/

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