Go Roma will expand outside of the Chicagoland area in 2012 through franchising, having just completed its Franchise Disclosure Documents and state filings for 90 percent of the United States market.

Go Roma was founded in 2004 by Drake, David Wolfgram and Yorgo Koutsogiorgas, each of whom are Lettuce Entertain You senior management alumni.

"Go Roma's business has been thoroughly tested and proven over a period of seven years," said Wolfgram, Go Roma's founder and CEO. "The food and the fast casual service style consistently exceed guest expectations, and it's Italian, the number one ethnic food category in the U.S. Go Roma is an incredibly efficient, diversified and profitable operation that will be very appealing to franchisees."

Go Roma operates in authentic fast casual style with a made-to-order menu, beer and wine offerings, and counter ordering with table delivery. Go Roma has six locations throughout the Chicago area and expects to achieve 5 percent same-store sales growth in 2011. Go Roma's new prototype footprint is approximately 2,400 square feet and average unit volumes are $1.3 million.

P.J. Evans joined the Go Roma team as executive vice president of franchise development in September 2011. Evans has more than 30 years experience running franchise development for brands such as Panera Bread, Noodles & Company and Corner Bakery.

"Go Roma is a burgeoning brand with a real competitive advantage over a virtually untapped fast casual Italian space," Evans said. "Together, the food, business model and culture form a unique consumer experience and a consistently profitable, diversified operation."

Go Roma is owned by Boudin Holdings Inc., a portfolio company of GESD Capital Partners. Wolfgram also is CEO of Boudin Holdings Inc. GESD is a San Francisco-based private equity firm that funds consumer, restaurant and entertainment brands.

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