Three relatively new area food chains may be headed for the big time, according to an authoritative voice in the restaurant industry.
The Bagel Shoppe, based in Owings Mills, Md., Yankee Noodle Dandy, of Alexandria, and Frankly Fries, of the District of Columbia, are among 80 restaurants across the country cited by Restaurant & Institutions magazine as the nation's most promising chains.
These 80 young firms present new food concepts or operational techniques, and are ready to expand or franchise, according to Michael Bartlett, editor of the magazine.
Another editor, Elizabeth Faulkner, said that only 20 percent of the magazine's yearly growth chains traditionally go out of business, a relatively low number for small businesses.
The three area firms were all started by entrepreneurs, as were most of the 80 cited by the magazine.
The Bagel Shoppe was opened in 1965 at a single outlet in Baltimore and has grown to include four retail stores, three franchises, one licensed store, and a bagel and dough factory -- all in Maryland.
This past December, co-owners Gary and Joan Van Hoven bought out the last of three original partners.
Specializing in bagels made according to old European recipes, the company expects sales of about $2.5 million in fiscal 1985, with about three-fifths coming from its wholesale business, according to Gary Van Hoven.
Van Hoven said the Bagel Shoppe is planning to expand into the Washington metropolitan area in the near future, with up to 10 new retail shops and 10 franchises within three years.
Frankly Fries, with four locations in the District and one in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was started in 1981 by owners Louis and Sheryl Rosenberg.
Steve Marks, the company's secretary-treasurer, estimated that sales for the past year amounted to roughly $2 million.
Marks said that the company is working on a package to franchise by the end of the summer.
The restaurant offers customers fresh potatoes fried in peanut oil with a variety of toppings, as well as hot dogs.
Mario Cardullo, an official with the Department of Energy who has taught Italian cooking in the area for the past decade, and his wife Karen, opened up Yankee Noodle Dandy at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda six months ago, and they already are planning to expand into more locations.
Their product: fast food pasta, a first in the Washington area. Yankee Noodle Dandy offers five different sauces and two pasta salads for as little as $2 and as quickly as it takes to pick up a meal from McDonald's, according to Karen Cardullo.
Since the Montgomery Mall outlet opened, it has done more than $135,000 in business, said Mario, who added that the firm is basically breaking even.
He said he is planning to open a pasta factory by the end of September and two more retail outlets shortly thereafter.