GOLDEN, CO-Following the example of sister chain, Manhattan Bagel, Einstein Bros. Bagels is accelerating its expansion by entering franchising, signing a multi-unit development agreement with MC Squared Investments LLC to open its first franchised stores.

Orlando-based MC Squared plans to build 21 locations throughout northern Florida in the next eight years, with the first restaurant expected to be unveiled in Jacksonville.

“We fell in love with the Einstein Bros. Bagels brand several years ago and believe it’s a good fit for us,” said Mohammed Chaudhry, owner of MC Squared, in the press release announcing the deal. “We look forward to bringing more Einstein Bros. Bagels restaurants to the north Florida market as well as having the opportunity to be a part of this win-win relationship.”

Einstein is one of five brands operated by New World Restaurant Group, which consists of 639 company-owned, licensed and franchised locations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Manhattan Bagel and Chesapeake Bagel Bakery dominate the company’s franchised operations. The others are Noah’s New York Bagels and New World Coffee.

In March, New World announced that it would expand Einstein Bros., increasing store openings from five new company stores in 2006, to 10 to 15 new company stores this year. Einstein Bros.’ 300 locations in 27 states range from 2,220 square feet to 2,500 square feet.

“We welcome MC Squared Investments to the Einstein Bros. family and are committed to supporting our franchise family as it continues to grow,” said Paul Murphy, New World Restaurant Group CEO, in the same statement.

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