Spain's "100 Montaditos" is planning to make like the conquistadors and invade the United States with bargain-priced, five-inch sandwiches featuring premium ingredients that might make Subway quiver in its foot-long boots.
The Madrid-based sandwich chain, billed as "Starbucks for sandwiches," is reaching for the stars with its expansion plans.
Restalia Grupo de Eurorestauración, which already owns two extremely popular "100 Montaditos" locations in Miami, seeks to open 4,000 restaurants in the United States over the next five years, according to The Huffington Post. The chain will chase that goal with a combination of company-owned stores and franchised restaurants.
It would be a faster expansion than that of Starbucks, which didn’t reach that level in the U.S. until three decades after its first shop opened, according to BusinessWeek.
The mini-sandwiches cost one euro in Europe, which comes out to $1.42, and most sandwiches figure to sell for between $1 and $3.
That's why many photos of people enjoying Montaditos show a platter of three to five sandwiches with a handful of chips splashed on top.
The name "100 Montaditos" comes from the fact that the restaurant features 100 different ingredients. From more upscale items like aragula, salmon, hearts of palm, duck mousse, and Iberico cheese to classics like peanut butter and jelly and hot dogs, according to Gawker.
But some question an expansion plan that would make "100 Montaditos" the fastest-growing restaurant chain of all time.
"There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, but it’s massively difficult to achieve that growth pace,” Larry Miller, a managing director at RBC Capital Markets in Atlanta, told BusinessWeek.
“Nobody here has ever done it, and it may be even more difficult for a foreign company,” he said.
But the company sees no reason why they shouldn't aim high after doubling their number of stores in Spain to 200 since 2007.
Anyone excited about the idea of a plethora of exotic little sandwiches on their plate only has the option of visiting the two locations in Miami at the moment. But the company plans to add eight more locations in Miami to solidify the brand.
They've targeted Union Square in New York City as their next stop, which means the expansion is here.
The sandwiches are coming.