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Naf Naf Grill Signs Four New Franchise Deals


Naf Naf Grill touts its pita bread, made fresh in every restaurant.

When I first talked to Paul Damico back in 2017 he’d been CEO of Naf Naf Grill for just six months, brought in from Moe’s Southwest Grill where he helped that brand more than double in size to nearly 700 locations via a major franchising effort. Naf Naf has that same potential, Damico told me, and the fast casual Middle Eastern concept is now seeing results following nearly two years of fine-tuning.

On the heels of its first franchise agreement, a 10-unit deal with former Qdoba franchisee Greg Willman and 316 Investments, which you can read about here, Naf Naf inked another four multi-unit agreements for a total of 25 restaurants.

Nick Ibrahim, who for 15 years oversaw IT operations for Ruby Tuesday and is now president of NBMM Holdings, signed a 10-store deal to open locations in Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In the Chicago area, where Naf Naf is based, Jwalit Patel, John Tourville and Ketan Patel will develop five restaurants, drawing on experience with a variety of brands including Subway and 7-Eleven.

Dunkin’ franchisees Krishna Patel and Rashmi Patel, who operate 19 stores in central Illinois and Iowa, signed a seven-unit deal to bring Naf Naf to those areas. Another group of Dunkin’ owners, Devarshi Patel, Riya Patel, Kamlesh Patel, Paulomi Shah and Jose Arteaga, signed a three-store agreement to build Naf Naf restaurants in northwest Indiana. The group also has three McAlister’s Delis.

These are exactly the type of multi-unit franchisees Damico said the brand wanted to target and, speaking at Franchise Times’ spring finance conference earlier this year, he noted, “We feel like we’ve solved for every layout where we want to see our brand.” That means site options for inline, endcap, food court and urban and suburban locations.

The initial investment range is $563,000 to $984,000, with the average unit volume for the 13 locations included in the current FDD at $1,019,802. Naf Naf has 37 open company locations in Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin.

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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