The investors of Spoleto, a fast casual chain with more than 380 units in Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica, are one step closer to completing their American dream.
John Velasquez and Carlos Oliveira have qualified to operate the business in the states under the Florida EB-5 Regional Center, which offers investment opportunities to foreign nationals, who want permanent residency status (green card) through the USCIS Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, according to a company press release.
The chain, which serves Italian food and has two restaurants located at the University of Central Florida Campus and the Florida Mall Dining Pavilion, will soon open 23 restaurants in designated trade areas throughout the Orlando area, the release stated.
Some units will be placed within convenient range of affluent neighborhoods, including Lake Mary, which has a population of 58,000 within three miles with an average household income of over $97,000. Others are located at shopping destinations, including the Florida Mall, or areas with high foot traffic, including the University of Central Florida.
"These areas have been chosen to maximize brand visibility and market penetration," according to the release, which noted the economic climate in the U.S. is favorable for Spoleto.
"The $61.3 billion per year Italian restaurants industry and the $225.1 billion per year fast food restaurants industry are moving away from low value products and toward healthy, locally sourced, and ethically conscious menus," states the release. "While existing participants are struggling to change their offerings while retaining existing customers, new entrants are able to target the center of customer demand rather than migrating toward it."
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