LAYTON -- One of the oldest fast-food franchise restaurants is coming to Utah. Maid-Rite, a quick-service casual-dining franchise based out of Des Moines, Iowa, is set to open its first Utah location in February, said President and CEO Bradley L. Burt.
"We like the area, and we've been targeting the whole greater Salt Lake City area," Burt said.
The new restaurant, which got its business license in December, will be at 701 N. Main St., the former 1,320-square-foot home of TCBY.
"It's always good to back-fill vacant space, but the thing we're really excited about is that this is a new concept restaurant not currently in the state of Utah," said Ben Hart, the city's economic development specialist.
"They decided to put their first store in Utah here in Layton. This says a lot about Layton on a national stage, that when people come into this state, one of the first places to pop up is Layton."
Maid-Rite first opened in 1926, just a few years after A&W restaurants opened in 1919 and began franchising in 1921. The company has 70 locations and eight new restaurants, including the Layton shop, under construction.
This will be the first Maid-Rite west of the Rocky Mountains and could help the company decide to franchise more locations in the Beehive State.
Burt said Layton residents Scott and Celina Shearer, the franchise owners, are the perfect people to introduce Maid-Rite to Utah.
"They are very nice people who understand the importance of customer service and having a spotlessly clean restaurant, which is important to us," Burt said.
Attempts by the Standard-Examiner to contact the Shearers were unsuccessful, as the voicemail mailbox for the listed phone number was full and not accepting new messages.
Burt said that, along with being famous for their loose meat sandwiches, Maid-Rite restaurant is ideal for people who have a limited time for lunch. For those unfamiliar with the term "loose meat," Wikipedia states that it's cooked ground beef resembling a sloppy joe, minus the sauce, rather than a compact hamburger patty.
"What makes us pop is, we have a great-tasting menu, our average ticket for a sandwich, fries and drink is between $6.75 and $7, and our order fulfillment time is three minutes," Burt said.
"You can get in, get your food, eat and get back to work in a 30-minute time frame."
Along with the traditional Maid-Rite menu, Celina Shearer will be serving her homemade soups.
Burt and his wife, Tania, will be in town for the grand opening and are excited to celebrate the new location.
Burt said: "We hope that the customers, after dining at the Layton Maid-Rite in complete satisfaction, will fully know why our Maid-Rite slogan is, 'Our Name Says It All.' "