Revere-based Kelly’s Roast Beef is beefing up its business with plans to expand across Greater Boston and New England.
The restaurant, which opened in 1951, is franchising for the first time and hopes to open six new locations within the next two years. But its ultimate goal is to have 50 franchise locations by 2025.
Kelly’s will open traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants, “express” stations in mall food courts, and shops on college campuses.
“People associate [Kelly’s Roast Beef] with Boston similarly to the way people associate In-N-Out Burger with California,” said Neil Newcomb, CEO of Kelly’s Roast Beef Franchising in a press release. “There are very few franchise opportunities out there founded on over 70 years of history.”
Today, there are five Kelly’s locations in the Boston area, in Medford, Saugus, Revere Beach, and Danvers. The company said it expects Natick, Quincy, Worcester, and Providence to get the first batch of franchise locations.
Kelly’s estimates that a single location can sell up to 20,000 roast beef sandwiches a month. As Kelly’s has expanded over the years, it has avoided a commissary set up and continues to roast it's beef in-house, making sandwiches “carved to order.”
"It's never sitting,” Newcomb said. “It's a medium rare, melt-in-your-mouth roast beef."
The local sandwich shop has garnered national attention over the years with mentions in movies like “Good Will Hunting,” as well as on the Food Network and in PBS programming.
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