The owners of World of Beer Franchising Inc. have entered into an agreement with a company headed by former Outback Steakhouse president Ben Novello that could help take the brand national.
The financial details of the agreement are confidential, but both sides are pleased with the arrangement. The partnership enhances the likelihood that the brew pub will spring franchises outside of Florida.
"I have a lot of confidence in the brand that Matt (LaFon) and Scott (Zepp) have created and the growth potential I see," said Novello, who resigned as president of the Outback Steakhouse brand in 2006.
Jim Pollard, formally of Outback, is also part of the endeavor.
"Ben and Jim are going to make the company stronger, and we couldn't be more excited," said Scott Zepp, one of the owners of World of Beer Franchising Inc. "We try to do the best thing for the brand, and bringing them on will be the best thing for the company."
In January 2007, LaFon and Zepp opened the first World of Beer at 9524 W Linebaugh Ave. in Westchase. Since that first store, others have opened in St. Petersburg, New Tampa, Sarasota and Melbourne. The pubs have some 500 beers from all over the world.
All the stores have a similar look to the original Westchase store with brick accents, black high-back bar stools and a dark and shiny bar. Two-door coolers will highlight the vast selection of brews.
Novello is currently Fort Lauderdale-based Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza development partner for Orlando, the West Coast of Florida and Maryland markets.