Case Study

Protein Bar Turns to Freeborn for Healthier Leases


With five restaurant locations in the Chicago area, Protein Bar is well-known for offering healthy, delicious meals that are, as its name suggests, high in protein. As a fast-growing franchise of healthy food for people-on-the-go, Protein Bar focuses its efforts on providing positive, flavorful choices in its restaurants and catering efforts.

As the company embarked on its “10-10-10” strategy of expanding to 10 stores in the top 10 markets in just 10 years, Protein Bar founder Matt Matros sought a real estate partner to help negotiate store leases. A former Kraft employee, Mr. Matros found that real estate leases are not necessarily straightforward; they differ by the building type and the spaces themselves, among other unique deal points.

Our Involvement

As of Summer 2012, Protein Bar was halfway to its 10-10-10 goal with five locations open and another four under development. “Freeborn’s experience on how to navigate these leases has been a great help to our expansion,” said Mr. Matros. “It makes sense to find leasing specialists like Freeborn for this work.”


In addition to assisting with Chicago-based lease negotiations, Freeborn is helping Protein Bar as it negotiates the lease for its first suburban Chicago location.

“When I started in the business,” said Mr. Matros, “I viewed lawyers as a necessary evil of the business. Now, I view them as the way to provide pure protection of our assets. There is a lot of value in extra protection,” he says.