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September 27, 2022

Modern market eatery inks first franchise agreement

Modern market eatery inks first franchise agreement

Multi-brand Thrive Restaurant Group plans to expand to 11 new markets with a 41-unit development deal

Denver, CO  (  Modern Market Eatery, a made-from-scratch fast casual concept, has signed a 41-unit development deal with its first franchise partner, Thrive Restaurant Group. The agreement will expand the brand to 11 new markets, including Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas; Austin, San Antonio and Waco, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; and Northwest Arkansas.

Based in Wichita, Kansas, Thrive Restaurant Group is a generational, multi-brand restaurant enterprise with deeply rooted values centered on guest-centric hospitality and a passion for scratch-made food. Founded by Darrel and David Rolph and led by Jon Rolph since 2011, the group is the fifth-largest Applebee’s franchisee and operates more than 100 restaurants nationwide, including its own culinary-driven portfolio of brands: Carlos O’Kelly’s, HomeGrown and BakeSale.

“We are proud to play a part in developing brands we believe in and expanding the footprint of better-for-you foods and quality ingredients with a passion for scratch-made meals,” said Rolph, Thrive Restaurant Group president and CEO. “Modern Market encompasses each of these values, and we are very excited to bring the brand to the markets we serve and beyond.”

Modern market eatery inks first franchise agreement

Founded in 2009, Modern Market is a fast casual concept born from the philosophy that faster food can be better food. Focusing on fresh, whole and sustainable ingredients crafted into scratch-made entrees ranging from salads to brick oven pizzas, the menu offers guests a diverse and customizable experience.

“Any brand’s first franchise partner is extremely special, but what makes Thrive Restaurant Group exceptional is their passion for our shared values,” said Rob McColgan, Modern Market co-founder and Modern Restaurant Concepts co-CEO. “Their commitment to hospitality, their people and their communities is truly at the heart of their company and everything they do. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to work alongside them and help bring amazing, healthy food to as many people as possible.

“As we continue to grow, our goal is to align with franchise partners with existing market authority,” McColgan said. “Rather than selecting specific DMAs we want to pursue, we focus on finding the right partners who share our vision and goals, wherever they may be, and Thrive exemplifies that. That is our strategy as we continue our growth trajectory and are actively seeking additional franchising opportunities.”

To celebrate this exciting new partnership, Modern Restaurant Concepts and Thrive Restaurant Group are each donating to the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP), a project of Baylor University that utilizes the tools of research, policy and practice to cultivate evidence-based solutions to the challenges of food and economic injustice. The donation will help establish a new BCHP initiative called Hunger Free Kansas.

To learn more about franchising with Modern Market, visit

Modern market eatery inks first franchise agreement

About Modern Market Eatery

Faster food can be better food. That idea led to the creation of Modern Market Eatery in Boulder, Colorado, in 2009. The brand is on a mission to nurture happiness from the inside out by making it easy to eat clean, nourishing and delicious food.

Fresh salads, grain bowls, toasted sandwiches and brick oven pizzas rule the menu, along with breakfast-all-day options, handmade lemonades and specialty desserts. With nearly 30 locations across Colorado, Texas and Arizona, as well as Denver International Airport and the University of Notre Dame campus, Modern Market is growing quickly.

About Thrive Restaurant Group

Thrive Restaurant Group is a family-owned business based in Wichita, Kansas, under the direction of president Jon Rolph and his father, chairman David Rolph. Thrive owns and operates more than 100 restaurants nationwide, including Applebee’s restaurants and its own culinary-driven portfolio of brands: Carlos O’Kelly’s, HomeGrown and BakeSale. The restaurants are in 12 states across the Midwest and Appalachia. Thrive also co-developed Nigel Hospitality Suite, a restaurant point-of-sale system with menu management, kitchen display system, payments and more.

About Modern Restaurant Concepts

Modern Restaurant Concepts will be one of the largest fast casual restaurant platforms in North America, with nearly 800 units across three brands, including QDOBA (pending acquisition), Modern Market Eatery and Lemonade. The system will operate company-owned and franchised units across nearly every U.S. state, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Modern Market is a food-forward, sustainable fast casual restaurant concept that operates in Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Indiana. Delivering the freshness and flavors of the market in a modern dining format and environment, Modern Market’s menu of protein-centric bowls, garden-fresh salads, toasted sandwiches and brick oven pizzas redefine what it means to eat well at a reasonable price. For additional information about Modern Market, please visit

Lemonade is a California-based modern fast casual concept serving colorful, seasonal and healthy lunch and dinner options as diverse as California itself. Raising the standard of quality and freshness in the industry, Lemonade entices time-crunched but food-savvy individuals with the simple allure of beautifully prepared salads, hearty braised meats, satisfying sandwiches, decadent desserts and thirst-quenching, handcrafted lemonades. For additional information about Lemonade, please visit


QDOBA is a fast casual Mexican restaurant with nearly 750 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Committed to delivering flavor to people’s lives, QDOBA uses ingredients prepared in-house, by hand and fresh throughout the day to create delicious menu options. Guests can experience QDOBA’s delicious flavors by enjoying one of its signature menu options that are chef-crafted for convenience and ease or by customizing their burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, salads, quesadillas and nachos to fit their personal tastes. For four years running, QDOBA has been voted the “Best Fast Casual Restaurant” as part of the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Discover more at or on the QDOBA app, which is available for download on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Fans can also connect with QDOBA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Ashley Lennington
SPM Communications

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