BRIX Holdings Continues to Innovate Its Brands, Adds New Franchise VP

After recently debuting its robot pizza concept, Brix has unveiled a "first-of-its-kind" Smoothie Factory + Kitchen concept and added a seasoned exec who expanded Shipley's by 100+ locations. His inaugural initiative? Crafting a new Friendly's "2.0" prototype store to ignite growth.

Dallas-based franchise company BRIX Holdings continues to bring new ideas to the industry as it expands its portfolio of brands. This fall, it’s unveiling a “first-of-its-kind” concept, the Smoothie Factory + Kitchen, in North Richland Hills. This new restaurant will offer an array of diverse food options beyond smoothies and juices.

The move comes in the wake of BRIX’ recent hiring of Luke Mandola Jr. as vice president of franchise sales and development. With more than 20 years of experience growing franchise brands such as Shipley’s, Mandola is tasked with increasing BRIX’s franchise growth.

One of Mandola’s first initiatives is to create a new prototype store for Friendly’s to put the brand on “a fresh path for growth.”

Luke Mandola Jr.

Mandola brings to his new role insights into trends and innovations in the franchising space that he honed from his success at expanding Shipley’s by over 100 locations.

“We have obviously placed growth as one of our key strategic priorities going forward, so bringing on Luke to spearhead that makes this feel like a home run hire,” said BRIX Holdings CEO Sherif Mityas. “With his experience and track record of success, we’re excited to see him help lead our new franchise sales growth and the development of new locations as we look to achieve our lofty targets in what is sure to be a bright future.”

BRIX said that Mandola joined the company in late June and has focused on elevating its already solid efforts in brand expansion.

“I’ve been an admirer of BRIX Holdings from afar for quite some time,” Mandola said in a statement. “I’m excited to now be a part of this powerhouse.”

Mandola says “being in the thick of a brand’s development process” is what he’s passionate about. 

Building a ‘Friendly’s 2.0’ prototype store

The company said that Mandola’s first big project will be stepping into the early stages of the company’s efforts to create and build its new Friendly’s 2.0 prototype store to put the popular brand on a strong growth plan, including new locations and franchise partners in the coming months.

At Shipley’s, Mandola was responsible for current franchisee growth, new franchise prospects, real estate development, site selection, design and construction, and training. Mandola opened more than 100 locations across 11 states—including new market entry in five states, developed the brand’s design & construction manual with an architectural firm, established a franchise incentive plan, sold and transferred 20 shops, and signed over 330 commitments through 2029, BRIX said.

Brix’ brand launch of Pizza Jukebox complemented by new Orange Leaf and Red Mango openings

So far this year, BRIX has signed six new franchise agreements, overseeing the new brand launch of Pizza Jukebox, the upcoming Smoothie Factory + Kitchen flagship site in North Richland Hills, as well as new Orange Leaf and Red Mango openings with existing franchisees.

In May, we told you about Pizza Jukebox, which uses robot technology to make a tasty, quick pizza. BRIX announced a Pizza Jukebox at a Walmart at 16066 Texas 121 in Frisco.

BRIX’ new Smoothie Factory + Kitchen, launching in North Richland Hills this fall, will offer what the company calls  “an innovative and expanded menu” that goes far beyond the standard smoothie offerings.

The new restaurant will have a wide array of diverse foods and revamped menu options not found at existing Smoothie Factory locations. The Smoothie Factory + Kitchen aims to satisfy customers’ appetites in new ways while still capitalizing on the popular smoothie brand.

The new Smoothie Factory + Kitchen restaurant is at 8517 Davis Blvd., in between The Highland Oaks and The Sanctuary neighborhoods.

Its menu will feature salads, grilled folds, toast options, a robust coffee program and boba tea, as well as the brand’s popular fresh juices, smoothie bowls, and smoothies made with real fruits and vegetables.

A 2,500-square-foot dining area will offer a relaxing spot to unwind for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the company said.

Sherif Mityas, CEO of BRIX Holdings, joined the company in 2022. [Photo: BRIX Holdings]

“We’re so excited to be taking our brand to the next level with the new Smoothie Factory + Kitchen coming soon to North Richland Hills,” Mityas said. “Our revamped menu is designed to excite and delight with an array of nutritious and delicious offerings based upon our mission of ‘Building a Better You.'”

BRIX Holdings’ portfolio represents over 300 locations across 38 states and features brands including Friendly’s Restaurant Co., Red Mango, Orange Leaf, Smoothie Factory + Kitchen, SouperSalad, and Pizza Jukebox.

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