Hometown Fast-Casual gusto! to Go Big in 2022

Healthy fare brand says more expansion to come as 12th location prepares to open.
Hometown Fast-Casual gusto! to Go Big in 2022
Photo: Official

Proud ATLien restaurant group gusto! has ambitious plans to expand and build-out its hometown market and beyond.

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The restaurant company recently announced details of its 12th location opening, this time in Tucker, and founder Nate Hybl says he would like to have a deal pipeline in place by the end of 2022 to increase gusto!’s Atlanta-area footprint by 50 percent.

“Our growth has been intentional and organic,” Hybl said. “We’re always humbled by the response our customers have to our shops, our food, our people and our passion for delivering fresh, flavorful offerings that are easy to get. We’re choosing our next locations wisely, intent on growing our footprint so we can reach more people.”

The quick-casual restaurant brand, which was founded in 2014, currently has eight locations. As reported in What Now Atlanta, gusto! is opening in Exchange @Gwinnett in Buford as well as in Athens, Georgia, its first location outside metro Atlanta. Its new Tucker location will open in the second half of 2022 as part of Branch Properties’ Hugh Howell Marketplace.

gusto! blends enthusiasm for healthier fare with a customized menu, allowing customers to choose a “gusto,” or flavor profile, and combine it with a choice of protein and a base of grains, flatbread or salad. The restaurant attracts lunchtime diners seeking quick, “better for you,” delicious meals as well as adventurous foodies and loyal locals.

“gusto! has a keen focus on organic, methodical Atlanta growth,” says Greg Eisenman, a senior director at Franklin Street, who exclusively represents the restaurant in their real estate growth and expansion. “With a deep commitment to its hometown, gusto! is responding quickly to opportunities. We anticipate they’ll be adding three to five units per year — even more if the opportunity is right.” High on gusto!’s real estate checklist? Sites with an A and A+ profile and drive-through capabilities.

gusto!’s first drive-through location opened in 2019, and the feature quickly became vital to the restaurant’s expansion strategy. Particularly during the pandemic, the importance of the drive-through emerged as an alternative revenue channel when in-person dining and catering were curbed.

Hybl isn’t limiting his company’s growth to Atlanta. He’s been quietly watching for opportunities to expand into other Southeastern markets.

“But even as the company expands beyond the Atlanta skyline, we don’t expect it to waver from its successful platform of smart growth and restaurants that embody a humble, welcoming, approachable dining space,” says Eisenman.

Which of Atlanta’s high-growth submarkets will be awarded the next gusto!? Stay tuned.

City of Tucker Approvals Advance gusto! Plans, Twelfth Atlanta-Area Location
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gusto! Chamblee | Photo: Official

[Disclosure: Franklin Street is a What Now Atlanta content partner.]

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak