Originally reported By Matthew Arrojas – Reporter, South Florida Business Journal on Jul 1, 2019, 1:54pm EDT
A new TooJay’s Deli is slated to open July 9 in Dania Beach, which would mark the West Palm Beach-based chain’s 30th Florida location and sixth in Broward County.
TooJay’s will hire 60 to 70 employees to staff the 5,000-square-foot eatery, expected to open this summer at 131 S. Compass Way at the Dania Pointe shopping mall. The 183-seat restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
But the deli’s CEO and president Maxwell Piet has grand plans for the chain beyond this upcoming location. While these plans start local, Piet told the Business Journal that he hopes to grow the brand nationally with over 200 future locations from its current 29 outposts.
Founded in 1981 in Palm Beach, TooJay’s has extended throughout the state to cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa. However, there are still markets in Florida that Piet hopes to penetrate, like Jacksonville.
He said the goal is to have around 45 Florida locations before going national. Right now, the focus is on renovating all existing locations before spreading more across the state. Once he hits the 45-restaurant goal, Piet said the brand would be stable enough to support national expansion.
And through it all, TooJay’s will stay company-owned.
Piet said there are no plans to franchise the TooJay’s Deli brand. He worries that franchising would lead to complications, as the brand succeeds with certain demographics and in certain locations, and leaving these decisions to franchisees could be problematic. The deli does best with seniors and families, so he needs to be sure every location targets those demographics, he said.
Additionally, the fact that most TooJay’s have attached bakeries could add further complications to franchising.
TooJay’s recently experimented with smaller restaurants with its Naples location. Downsizing the typical store could open up more real estate opportunities, leading to faster expansion, Piet said. Most TooJay’s locations are 5,000 square feet, but the Naples eatery is about 3,500 square feet. It has continued to do well, despite the smaller size, he said.
All TooJay’s locations will be remodeled in the coming months. After all remodels are complete, then the chain will turn its focus on expanding once again.