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PHOENIX-Maid-Rite Corp., the company whose “loose meat” sandwiches were lauded on the television series “Rosanne,” is targeting the Phoenix area for its next expansion. The Des Moines-based company is looking for franchisees to open 50 locations within the next 15 years.

Although no specific locations are written in stone just yet, Maid-Rite president and CEO Bradley L. Burt says the Chandler-Gilbert-Mesa area, Scottsdale and Sun City are of particular interest. “Typically to open a Maid-Rite diner, the all-inclusive cost is $300,000 for the franchisee,” he says, adding an operator could end up with a 20% pre-tax profit if the diner is well-operated.

Burt tells GlobeSt.com that the best locations for the diners are end caps in shopping centers with high visibility and traffic. Spaces range from 1,500 sf to 1,800 sf. The size is important, Burt stresses, because of expense. “We’ll go into food courts and convenience stores,” he adds. “But for affordability, we find those end caps in the strip centers are the best for the franchisees.”

Burt says the Phoenix area represents a logical choice for expansion because of the number of transplanted Midwesterners with fond memories of the Maid-Rite brand. Phoenix oftentimes is a magnet for Midwesterners who want a second home in a warmer place.

“We go where we have a good concentration of that demographic and a good brand identity,” Burt says, adding expansion plans also are in the works in other areas of the Southwest, West and Florida. “We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls each month from people in the Valley, asking us when we’re coming to Arizona. It’ll be a great market for us.”

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