Franchise Brands Continue To Expand Internationally as 2022 Wraps Up
As global franchising nears 3 years of a business world forever changed by Covid, international businesses have learned to adapt and continue to expand into new countries. This month our international deals roundup reports on expansion from Costa Rica to Eastern Europe, the U.S., Uruguay, Dubai, Canada, Mexico, and more.
- Angry Crab Shack is set to open its first franchise location in the U.K., its first restaurant franchise signing outside of the U.S. Opening is slated for late Q1 2023 in the heart of London next to Leicester Square. The franchisee is Mason and M Ltd.
- Arby’s has opened its first restaurant in Costa Rica. Located in Curridabat, San José, the ribbon-cutting took place on November 24. Local franchisee Arblat, which owns and operates the restaurant, plans to open additional Arby’s locations across the country in 2023 and beyond.
- Cupbop, a fast-casual Korean barbecue concept founded in 2013, is ready to expand its U.S. footprint. The brand, which has 130 locations in Indonesia and 42 in the U.S., has raised $10 million to accelerate openings in the U.S., according to a company press release.
- Domino’s has announced that Alamar Foods, its master franchisee for the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan, has opened its 600th store. Located at Uptown Mirdif in Dubai, the opening was attended by Domino's CEO Russell Weiner.
- Enterprise Holdings has entered South Korea through an agreement with Korea First Rent A Car. The deal will add new franchise locations featuring rental options from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo. Founded in 1992, KFR has a well-established presence at U.S. military facilities in South Korea and a roster of key accounts including major corporations, hotels, and TV stations.
- ERA Real Estate has signed a master franchise agreement for Uruguay with developer Kopel Sánchez and brokerage Rutland. Kopel Sanchez was started 21 years ago by founders Fabián Kopel and Sebastián Sánchez. Rutland also serves as ERA’s broker in Paraguay. Wilder Ananikian, a real estate entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in brokerage in Montevideo and Punta del Este, will assume the position of president of ERA Uruguay.
- Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers will debut in Canada under a master franchise and development agreement. The deal, which covers 9 Canadian provinces (excluding Quebec), calls for opening at least 20 restaurants. The franchisees bring a history of international development for multiple brands in Canada.
- Garage Living opened a new location in Raleigh, North Carolina this past October. The franchisee for the Canadian company, Steve Fling, spent 21 years working in sales for a company specializing in aeronautics and airplanes.
- Gelatissimo, a 20-year-old, 65-unit gelato concept based in Sydney, Australia, has rolled out its U.S. expansion plan, starting with a planned opening at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. The concept debuted in the U.S. debut earlier this year in Houston under the direction of franchisees Simon Stankevicius and Phanary Hok, who own several dessert concepts.
- German Doner Kebab plans to open in Astoria, Queens this January. GDK Astoria will be the brand’s first fast-casual outlet in New York City, following the launch of its first U.S. site at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey in 2021. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, and with locations in the U.K., Sweden, and the Middle East, GDK is expanding in the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, and across other key locations in Europe and now has more than 140 restaurants worldwide.
- Hilton has announced the signing of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand’s third property in Mexico, the new-build Waldorf Astoria San Miguel de Allende, which is expected to open in early 2025. The property, owned by Peakair Group, is being developed by Skyplus Developments Corp. and will be managed by Hilton.
- Restaurant Brands International has signed a master agreement to open 600 Burger King and Popeyes restaurants in Eastern Europe over the next 10 years. The deal with McWin, through its new Rex Concepts platform, will expand the BK brand in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Romania, and introduce Popeyes to the Czech Republic and Poland.
- Wendy’s is working with the U.K. arm of its longtime U.S. agency partner, VMLY&R, to “hyperlocalize” its expansion in the country. Since its U.K. relaunch in mid-2021, the U.S. burger brand has opened 25 restaurants in the country. With units now in London, Sheffield, and Brighton, the company is expanding into Liverpool and Greater Manchester. The brand, which has its eyes on Ireland for 2023, also plans to launch on the European continent.
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