Another well-liked U.S. food franchise is expanding into Panama. “Fast casual” chain Cosi, which specializes in flatbread sandwiches and salads, is planning to open five restaurants in Panama, with the first scheduled to open later this year.
Cosi is working with a franchise partner, Fast Casual Ltda, which owns and operates six franchised Cosi restaurants in Costa Rica.
Cosi joins a wide variety of American chains which are already well-established in Panama. For expats and visitors, Panama can always offer a taste of home, in addition to the dynamic community of fine, original restaurants developing here. Panama City is becoming well known for its array of culinary choices.
Cosi is not a very big chain, but it is growing quickly. There are currently 76 company-owned and 31 franchise restaurants operating in 15 states, the District of Columbia, Costa Rica and the United Arab Emirates, the company reports.
Each restaurant is designed around an open-flame stone-hearth oven. Flatbreads are made from scratch and all items feature “fresh ingredients and distinctive sauces and spreads to create edgy flavors,” the company says in promotional materials. Cosi has been finding success in Costa Rica, where it was first launched in 2012.
“We are proud to have Fast Casual Ltda., our franchise partner in Costa Rica, now developing into the Republic of Panamá,” said Cosi chief executive RJ Dourney in a statement. “They have been outstanding business partners since 2012, and together we see this as further establishing the foundation for Cosi to penetrate Central America and beyond in the years to come.”