Caribou Coffee announced the signing of several multi-unit development agreements that total more than 300 new locations domestically.

Caribou merged with Panera Bread and Einstein Bros. Bagels to form Panera Brands in the summer of 2021. And Caribou launched its franchise program that fall and winter in a first for the brand. The deals to date:

  • Mike Mariola Restaurants was the first to sign in the wake of the chain’s franchise efforts. Mike Mariola and his team opened their first Caribou Coffee location in November 2022, in Wooster, Ohio. Mariola plans to develop 60 locations in the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati markets.
  • Caribou Coffee also executed a multi-unit development agreement with Wake Up 727 to franchise locations in Pinellas County, Florida, home to St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Wake Up 727, under the leadership of Michelle Mathis, recently expanded their agreement to develop 35 locations with Mathis' first location opening fall 2023.
  • Panera Bread franchisees Paul Saber and Patrick Rogers will bring the coffeehouse brand back to Michigan as their Manna Development Group plans to develop over 50 Caribou Coffee locations across the state.
  • Hamra Enterprises signed a multi-unit agreement to open 24 Caribou Coffee locations throughout Missouri including the St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City markets.
  • Kevin Ricci, Owner of Covelli Family Limited Partnership, will open 60 Caribou Coffee locations in Florida including Gainesville and along the west coast of the state from Tampa to Naples.
  • Sam Covelli, CEO of Covelli Enterprises, and the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, has plans to open 100 Caribou Coffee locations across the northern half of Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and Florida, including Orlando, and along the east coast of the state from West Palm Beach to Miami.

The chain’s statement about the deals noted that its restaurant design and new formats had positioned Caribou Coffee for nationwide expansion, including the 2019 roll-out of its drive-thru focused Caribou Cabin prototype featuring a significantly smaller footprint, designed to offer speed and convenience.

Over the past several years, Caribou has leveraged this momentum to propel its expansion with the 50th company-owned Caribou cabin location opening just last month. The Caribou cabin design coupled with the concept's traditional coffeehouse prototype featuring a larger footprint for sit-down guests, offers franchisees flexible real estate offerings.

As of March 2023, Caribou Coffee has 330 company-owned, 141 non-traditional and 294 traditional franchise locations in 11 countries. The company is also a craft roaster and retailer of specialty bagged coffee, K-Cup Pods and ready-to-drink products, which can be found online and in stores.