FGCU alumni fries up success with #getfried
Chris Covelli, an FGCU alumnus and Buffalo, NY native, has been stirring up a new food chain. #getfried, a cafe for french fries, has successfully secured franchising opportunities and opened two locations in 2015 alone.
Covelli is a graduate of the Class of 2009 and was recruited to FGCU to play golf. Initially, he’d intended to go pro in the golfing world, but unfortunately, that plan didn’t work out. Instead, Covelli found work after graduation, met the right people and #getfried came to life.
#getfried was inspired by the chains of Canada and Europe as a quick-serve cafe option. Instead of a variety of different meals, there are a number of different variations on one of America’s favorite dishes — french fries.
“I realized there was nothing like it,” Covelli said.
The process is simple. Customers can pick from five cuts of fries and 20 different types of meats, cheeses and seasonings to top them with. The company’s bestseller, which keeps it close to home, is called the 716 — waffle-cut fries topped with shredded chicken, Frank’s RedHot and blue cheese. Of course, this is only one of the many specialty baskets #getfried offers.
So far, #getfried has been a wild success. Within a week of the first location’s opening in February, the company’s Facebook page had generated over 4,000 likes and was trending on Twitter.
Covelli’s most recent location opened in Niagara Falls, NY on Dec. 18 after approval for franchising came on Dec. 10. So far, Covelli has had a handful of people who are interested in continuing the franchise, and he hopes to target college towns like Fort Myers.
“College towns are our number one interest,” Covelli said. “I would love to have a location (near FGCU) open in 2016.”
Covelli said the chain would work well near universities since it is quick, accessible and perfect for in-between classes or the day after partying too hard.
Continuing the franchise is based on a bidding process, so no one location is entirely guaranteed; however, #getfried is able to continue opening locations in 35 different states.