German Restaurants Are Expanding: 57 Concepts You Should Know

While Germany has long been considered a country offering many traditional dishes, there are now an increasing number of restaurants popping up that are bringing new flavours to the table. 

The country is a playground for hospitality entrepreneurs, and we have the proof: a round-up of the 57 expanding restaurant businesses with solid concepts and strong operations. You’ll find everything and anything: classic burger joints, steakhouses and pizzerias, but also cat temples and American diners. But even within the same category, you’ll find very distinctive brand personalities. 

Ready for a deep dive? In no particular order – let’s go…

Hans im Glück 

Hans im Glück 

93 Outlets

Burgers

Full Service

Germany, Austria and Switzerland

In the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale Hans in Luck, Hans starts his journey with a big piece of gold, which he trades down for things of lesser value. Eventually he remains with nothing, but he’s happier than ever. Burger chain Hans im Glück embraces the same less is more philosophy for its burgers: only fresh ingredients and the highest quality. You don’t really need anything more to be happy. Hans im Glück offers a creative interpretation of the ‘burger’ for the health-conscious crowd. 

United Curry

United Curry

120+ Outlets

Currywurst

Quick Service

Germany 

If you ever had a currywurst in Germany, chances are it was at one of United Curry’s franchises: Wurst Teufel, Grillbar, GrillGut, or Bratwerk. United Curry has a systematic approach to creating and managing different brands of the typical German snack. Aspiring franchisees will find different types of locations for all settings: food stalls and mobile food trucks for areas with high foot traffic, and mini counters and larger bars for train stations, supermarkets, and petrol stations. 

Immergrün

Immergrün

70 Outlets

Vegetarian

Fast Casual

Germany 

Immergrün is evergreen food for fresh people. This vegetarian concept started out in 2005 in Berlin as a juice and smoothie bar. 17 years later, the chain has evolved into a go-to place for vegans, vegetarians, and also omnivores who want to take a break from meat and enjoy salads, falafels or wraps made to order with ultra-fresh ingredients. 

Nordsee GmbH

Nordsee GmbH

370+ Outlets

Seafood

Fast Casual

Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, Belgium, France 

Not many modern restaurant chains can claim to have been in the business for more than 120 years. Nordsee is one of them. Founded in 1896 as a fishery and wholesaler, in 1964 it opened the first seafood restaurant/fish shop — where one could eat seafood-based meals or buy raw seafood to take home — and grew very rapidly from there. Today, Nordsee operates solely as a seafood retailer and restaurant, with more than 370 stores worldwide and the same passion for fresh sustainable seafood. 

Kochlöffel

Kochlöffel

80+ Outlets

Fried Chicken, Burgers

Quick Service

Germany 

The wooden spoon is a simple but evocative image of what this chain of snack restaurants stands for: home, and not just for the honest-to-goodness grilled chicken and currywurst, but also for the values of trust, care, and friendliness that this family business – run by the second generation – has put forward for more than 60 years. The Kochlöffel chain has about 80 outlets and is actively looking for new franchisees. 

Frittenwerk

Frittenwerk

30 Outlets

French Fries and Salads

Fast Casual

Germany 

True to their battle cry ‘Fries before guys’, at Frittenwerk they love fries and won’t apologize for it. The menu features three types of dishes served in many different versions: poutine (French fries topped by cheese and gravy), various fried snacks, and salads for the cholesterol-conscious. The level of Frittenpride is such that this chain also has a whole range of merchandise (t-shirts, sweaters, bags, and even gold chains) dedicated to their love for the humble spud, fried like the French (or is it the Belgian?) do. 

L’Osteria

L'Osteria

145 Outlets

Italian

Full Service

Germany, France, England, Austria, Luxemburg and the Netherlands 

In Italy, L’Osteria is a restaurant where you give up fancy decor in exchange for homemade traditional food, cooked with time-honoured recipes that have been handed down for generations in the cook’s family. In Germany, l’Osteria took this concept and added a touch of modernity. The first restaurant opened in 1999, and since then they have expanded like their pizzas, which go well beyond the edge of the plate. 

Peter Pane

Peter Pane

48 Outlets

Burgers

Full Service

Germany, Austria  

At Peter Pane (pronounced as it’s written, which means bread in Italian) they create burgers in an atmosphere of light-heartedness and joy. Except when it comes to helping the community, which is when they get serious. The chain has a charity program that has given over €350,000 over four years to support projects for children and young people and organizes BMX workshops with pro-athlete Chris Böhm. 

Back-Factory

Back Factory

79 Outlets

Baked Goods

Quick Service

Germany 

Whether you are a professional or occasional snacker, the Back-Factory has a range of freshly prepared sandwiches, hot snacks, pastries and baked items to happily treat yourself between meals. The first Back-Factory opened in 2002 as a self-service bakery, and a few years later the concept evolved from ‘grub’ngo’ to ‘snack and linger’. The brand was acquired in 2021 by foodservice giant Valora. 

Extrablatt

Extrablatt

100+ Outlets

Pub Grub

Full Service

Germany 

Far from your usual watering hole, Extrablatt is a pub open to everyone, young and old, every day at any time of the day. It’s a family-run business that develops food and takes care of logistics all internally, to give customers a relaxed experience. The menu includes burgers, a breakfast buffet, cocktails and the ever-present currywurst. 

Sausalitos

Sausalitos

48 Outlets

Cali Mexican

Full Service

Germany 

A 29-year-young restaurant chain that offers authentic Californian-Mexican cuisine with a menu featuring burgers and burritos, chicken wings and quesadillas, and the widest selection of cocktails you’ll ever find in any restaurant. The ambience is as colourful as its dishes, with themes of two Mexican icons, Frida Kahlo and The Day of the Dead. Sausalitos’ heart, however, is definitely green: they only use biodegradable packaging materials and work with regional suppliers of meat and vegetables. They will plant a tree in Ghana for each Green Karma Mojito that gets ordered.     

Coffee Fellows

Coffee Fellows

237 Outlets

Coffee and Pastries

Coffee House

Germany, the Netherlands, the US 

Coffee Fellows is all about excellent coffees. The two founders, Stefan and Kathi in 2019 travelled to the foot of Kilimanjaro to get to know in person the farmers who produce their beans. Espressos and cappuccinos are not really prepared, rather, they’re handcrafted by capable baristas who play with grinding mesh, water temperature and brewing time to give the best coffee experience. The brand includes a Coffee Fellows Hotel in Dortmund, where you can feel at home, before and after having a great macchiato. 

Ma’loa

Ma'loa

25 Outlets

Poké Bowls

Quick Service

Germany 

The idea of bringing a piece of Hawaii to Germany came to Ma’loa’s founder Daniel Brandes during a trip to the island. Ma’loa is, indeed, the closest you can get to the Aloha State without leaving Germany. You won’t just get Poké Bowls for every type of diet – vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, gluten-free or paleo – made with the freshest seafood and vegetables, but also a taste of the Island’s vibe, its friendliness, colours, and laid-back attitude. 

MUNDFEIN

Mundfein

45+ Outlets

Pizza, pasta & salads

Full Service & delivery

Germany 

An open kitchen, a modern design and fresh preparation – these are the secrets of MUNDFEIN‘s success. The company was founded in 2008, and already represents over 40 pizza stores in Germany and has been a certified full member of the German Franchise Association since 2015. The franchise MUNDFEIN Pizzawerkstatt operates delivery services for tasty pizza of the finest quality. Frozen ingredients are taboo: the yeast dough is fresh. The brand does not use industrial pre-production. MUNDFEIN was named “Best Pizza Delivery Service” by deutschlandtest.de and received the “Best Product Quality” award for the second time in a row in 2023.

BackWerk

BackWerk

400+ Outlets

Baked Goods

Self-service

Germany, Austria, the Netherlands  

If you step foot in any of the 400 BackWerk outlets, you’ll be welcomed by an incredibly wide choice of baked goods of all types. Sandwiches, hot dogs, pizzas, muffins, pretzels, and of course, bread: imagine anything baked, sweet or savoury, BackWerk probably has it. It was launched in 2001 as a self-service bakery, and it remains true to this concept, adding cold and hot drinks, salads and even fresh fruits. In 2017, the brand was acquired by food service provider Valora. 

Burgerme

Burgerme

166 Outlets

Burgers

Delivery Only

Germany, the Netherlands  

In the last three years, many restaurants were forced to rely on deliveries to survive. For Burgerme, delivery has been at the core of its business model since its inception in 2010. The simple formula ‘premium burgers delivered in 25 minutes’ is a proven success and the chain is growing at a stunning pace, breaking one record turnover after another. Their menu includes evergreens like cheeseburgers and new launches for vegans and vegetarians. 

Ciao Bella

Ciao Bella

56 Outlets

Italian

Full and Quick Service

Germany 

Ciao Bella is based on a simple principle: Italian food (the real one, the one made with fresh ingredients and love) should be a fundamental right for everyone. You won’t find the entire universe of Italian cuisine there, just the staples we all know and love: pizza and pasta with salads and starters. It’s the “Italian next door” for your quick breaks, when you have little time, but you still want to eat tasty and fresh.  

Kamps

Kamps

460 Outlets

Baked Goods

Quick Service

Germany, the Netherlands  

Kamps prides itself – and rightly so – on finding the right balance between artisanal bakery and modern efficiency. Bread, pastries and the rest of their baked products are prepared without the usual shortcuts of industrial bakeries such as using additives and ready-made baking mixes. What Kamps uses are home-made sourdough, its own recipes, and the craftsmanship and patience of its bakers. Founded in 1982, in May 2015 Kamps was acquired by Groupe Le Duff, a French global operator in the Café and Bakery space. 

Janny’s Eis

Janny's Eis

136 Outlets

Ice Cream

Ice Cream Shop

Germany, the Netherlands 

Janny’s Eis was founded in 1982 by Slovenian emigrant John Ferdinand Komac in Ellingstedt, a small village in the North of Germany. In 1989 the business was sold to Schöller (an ice cream giant at the time), and eventually became part of the Nestlé Group. Today, Janny’s Eis is the largest ice cream franchise in Germany. Many years have passed, but the memory of Komac (who recently passed away in his home country) and his entrepreneurial spirit are still celebrated in Ellingstedt. 

Pommesfreunde

Pommesfreunde

35 Outlets

Burgers, Currywursts, Hot Dogs

Fast Casual

Germany 

To bring you the best street food, Pommesfreunde went to the four corners of the world, so you won’t have to: Belgium for the fries, Chicago for burgers, Berlin for the currywurst, and New York for the hot dogs. Carefully selected meat and potato suppliers (there’s no such thing as frozen pre-fried fries there), vegan and halal choices are the hallmarks of Pommesfreunde’s quality and love for gourmet street food. 

Smiley’s Pizza Profis

Smiley's Pizza Profis

60 Outlets

Pizza & Pasta

Delivery Only

Germany 

The logo of this American-style pizza chain is a Smiley with a retro design, which tells you right away that Smiley’s Pizza was founded in the 1980s and that its mission from day one has been to put a smile on their customers’ faces. Each pizza dough is freshly prepared several times a day and can also be ordered with a 100% wholemeal flour with a tried-and-tested blend of spelt, rye and wheat. In the 1990s they pioneered a film + pizza service with a video cassette (remember those?) delivered with the pizza. In 2006 they even served pizza to Michael Jackson when in Hamburg for a concert. 

Wonder Waffel

Wonder Waffel

48 Outlets

Waffles and Ice Creams

Quick Service

Germany 

Abiding to its motto “Create (your) one Wonder”, Wonder Waffel uses waffles as a canvas where each customer can create their own version of joy, adding fruits, toppings, and sauces. 250 options should be enough. The idea for Wonder Waffel came to founder Ulvi Topciuoglu from the waffle sellers in Istanbul and the wide choice of toppings. Since opening shop in Berlin in 2011, the concept has had many copycats, but the original still beats them all.

Extrawurst

Extrawurst

25 Outlets

Sausages

Quick Service

Germany 

The story of Extrawurst (which in German means extra sausage and also special treatment) starts in 1981, when a young dad called Lothar Hagebaum, with a burning desire to build something new and to be his own boss, opens his stand to sell burgers and sausages. Early on he decides to focus on sausages and starts to experiment with new flavours, such as curry-arrabbiata sausages or Christmas sausages with cinnamon. Today, Extrawurst enjoys a growing success, with 25 outlets that sell 1,000,000 sausages and 200,000 lbs of fries every year. 

Gosch GmbH

Gosch GmbH

32 Outlets

Seafood

Full Service

Germany 

Gosch Seafood restaurants are an institution in Germany. Their well-deserved reputation started in the 1960s on the island of Sylt, when Jürgen Gosch started to sell eels on the beach. After opening several more fish stands, Gosch launched his first restaurant in 1986, and 30 more in the following years. Gosch restaurants cook fish, but also smoke it and process it. Unrelenting passion for seafood over five decades.

Enchilada Franchise GmbH

Enchilada Franchise GmbH

80+ Outlets

German and International Cuisine

Full Service

Germany 

Enchilada are the people behind Pommesfreunde and 12 more brands. The group takes its name from their first concept, a Mexican food + cocktail combination that opened its doors in 1990 in Munich. Those that followed had one thing in common: variety. Enchilada’s portfolio includes Lautenschlager’s traditional Swabian cuisine, Carls Brauhaus’ German pub grub, and Noah’s & Zoe’s Place’s multinational vibe to name a few. Whether you want to enjoy a night out or start a new adventure as a franchisee, the Enchilada team has something for everyone. 

Mitchells & Butlers Germany GmbH

Mitchells & Butlers Germany GmbH

43 Outlets

German and International Cuisine

Full Service

Germany 

The German subsidiary of the British foodservice powerhouse Mitchells & Butlers is still relatively small (‘only’ 43 outlets), but it’s one of the top-selling operators in the country. Its brands are ALEX, an all-in-one concept that can be a café, bistro, restaurant, or bar; Brasserie, based on the classic French coffee house; Miller & Carter, for meat lovers in pursuit of the perfect steak. 

Gastro & Soul GmbH

Gastro & Soul GmBH

30+ Outlets

German and International Cuisine

Full Service

Germany, South Africa

Gastro & Soul is a group with more than 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry. They started with the colourful and modern Cafe de Sol and soon expanded to other concepts, to include German and Italian cuisine and the unmissable steakhouse. What makes them unique, however, is the in-house academy (called the Suniversity), where they train employees to exceed guests’ expectations. 

Yorma’s

Yorma's

50+ Outlets

Coffee and Sandwiches

Quick Service

Germany 

The success of Yorma’s s coffee shops is based equally on the quality of food and efficiency. Yorma’s mission is to serve fresh and tasty food on-the-go for people in a hurry. Since Yorma Eber opened the first outlet in 1985, he has pursued this mission unrelentingly, taking care of all the details: the locations (busy train and subway stations), the food offer (50% packaged products, 50% freshly prepared), and store layout. 

Freddy Fresh AG

Freddy Fresh AG

75 Outlets

Pizza

Quick Service

Germany 

Founded by Michael and Jana Welde, Freddy Fresh is many things altogether: an American-style pizza that diners love, captivating branding, a data-driven business that is constantly following the changing tastes of customers, where each menu is adapted following locations and seasons, and a tried and tested franchising system that ensures a steady income for franchisees and steady expansion. Exactly like any foodservice business should be. 

Gustoso Gruppe

Gustoso Gruppe

75 Outlets

Italian, Burgers, Coffee and Bakery

Quick Service, Full Service

Germany, Switzerland  

Gustoso is not just a group that manages six successful brands in Germany and Switzerland. They are also concept developers for anyone with the right idea for a restaurant, who doesn’t have the experience or know-how, or for existing restaurants that want to expand through franchising. Gustoso takes care of the whole project: market analysis, expansion strategy and branding.  

Pizza Max

Pizza Max

45 Outlets

Pizzas, Burgers, Pasta and Salads

Delivery and Takeaway Only

Germany 

Pizza Max is a simple concept that has been perfected over more than 30 years: pizzas, burgers and pasta with personality and taste, for collection and delivery only. They grow slowly and wisely and hire their own drivers. The menu includes classics from both sides of the Ocean, like margherita and Hawaiian (with pineapple), plus new daring toppings like chicken curry and hot dog. 

Orlen Deutschland GmbH

Orlen Deutschland GmbH

420+ Outlets

Coffee and Bakery

Coffee Shops

Germany 

Orlen is a Polish oil and gas company that operates several petrol stations and adjacent coffee shops in Germany under the Star brand. The Star Cafes are designed to welcome travellers who want to have a coffee and snack on the go or want to linger and relax in a comfortable environment before they resume their trip. 

Der Beck GmbH

Der Beck GmbH

150 Outlets

Baked Goods

Bakery

Germany 

Der Beck bakery has existed for almost 130 years. However, it was only in 1979, three generations later, that Petra and Siegfried Beck turned it into a much larger business with 150 branches. This long tradition is carried on today with great dedication by the 5th Beck generation. Product offer has expanded to include sandwiches, cakes, salads, and egg dishes for breakfast. The latest addition were five branches of Casa Pane, a Mediterranean restaurant with pizza and other baked treats prepared in a stone oven. 

Flying Pizza

Flying Pizza

47 Outlets

Pizza

Quick Service, Take Away and Delivery

Germany 

With 36 years in business, Flying Pizza can rightfully claim to be a pioneer of the pizza scene in Germany. The whole branding is built around the airport theme, and their pizzas feature toppings with explosive flavours in classic NY style. In October 2021 the Flying Pizza brand was acquired by Norwegian food conglomerate Orkla. 

Pappert GmbH & Co. KG

Pappert GmbH & Co. KG

133 Outlets

Bakery Shops and Restaurants

Quick Service and Full Service

Germany 

Pappert is a family bakery that has existed for almost 100 years, although the original baker in the family can be traced back to the 17th century. The brand is the perfect example of how it’s possible for a business to remain true to its roots while evolving into a modern brand. Their offer includes the classic bakery shops, plus speciality shops with a living room atmosphere that serve hot dishes, and ‘fitness baker’ an ongoing series of fitness classes for customers and employees. 

Karls Erlebnisdorf

Karls Erlebnisdorf

23 Outlets

Brunch, Burgers, Baked Goods

Quick Service, Full Service

Germany 

The story of Karls amusement parks is the stuff fairy tales are made of. It started in 1921 when Karl Dahl founded a fruit and vegetable farm in a small village in Mecklenburg, which later shut down and was replaced by a strawberry farm after WWII. The strawberry business thrived until the Dahl family decided to bring the original farm in Mecklenburg back to life. And then, when a small playground was built in front of the courtyard door of the farm shop, a new adventure began. Today Karls Erlebnisdorf is an amazing universe made of adventures for kids of all ages, hotels, restaurants and even a radio station. 

TopTop Donuts

TopTop Donuts

15 Outlets

Donuts

Quick Service

Germany 

One type of food – donuts – 112 ways to serve it: that’s how many types of donuts you will find on their menu. There’s an infinite variety of icings, fillings, toppings, even the most daring ones that you would have never dreamt of trying, and a whole range of donuts in an XXL format.

Founded by Moroccan businessmen Fouad El Hasnaoui and Mahmoud Maataoui, the TopTop Donuts concept targets young people, especially those in their mid-20s. 

Monkey Donuts

Monkey-Donuts