Franchise Brands Continue To Expand Internationally as 2023 Begins
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 Dave and Buster’s, Hyatt, IHG, Jan-Pro, McDonald’s, Slim Chickens, The Habit Burger Grill, Twin Peaks, and Woof Gang Bakery… and how France is cracking down on influencers.
- Dave and Buster’s is set to open its second location in Puerto Rico on January 30. The new 42,000-s.f. facility in San Juan’s Plaza Las Americas, will offer gaming, dining, sports viewing, and private event spaces. The brand has 148 stores in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Last April, the brand announced was acquiring Main Event, a 52-unit dining and entertainment chain, for $835 million.
- France has begun a crackdown on influencers—specifically, those who fail to disclose when they’re paid to promote products or services. An article in The Times (U.K.) reported that the country’s President Emmanuel Macron “wants action to produce a code of conduct and possible new laws to end dubious practices such as influencers touting investment schemes, products and training courses, often without acknowledging that they were paid to do so.” The government is reportedly targeting 150,000 influencers in the country.
- Hyatt has opened a new hotel in China, the Hyatt Place Hangzhou International Airport, its first in the city. The hotel was developed by Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport Co. The hotel in Terminal 4 has 472 rooms including 24 suites, a 2,637-s.f. flexible event space, and will serve freshly prepared meals 24/7.
- IHG Hotels & Resorts announced two new signings in Budapest, Hungary. The signings are Verno House Budapest, Vignette Collection, set to open in this summer under a franchise agreement, and voco Budapest, due to open in late 2023 under a management agreement. Both are brand debuts for the country. The properties have been signed with BDPST Group, a Hungarian-based capital investment company and one of Hungary’s largest hotel owners and operators in the upscale and luxury hospitality market.
- Jan-Pro Cleaning & Disinfecting announced it will be expanding into Puerto Rico. The franchisees are Connecticut natives Allan Johnson and Travis Williams. The majority of Jan-Pro owners in Connecticut market have ties to Puerto Rico, said Williams, adding that those ties will be the foundation to establishing a solid network of owners in Puerto Rico. “Many left the island for better economic opportunities and chose to start their Jan-Pro business as a way to help support their families locally and back in Puerto Rico.”
- McDonald’s has closed its restaurants in Kazakhstan, citing supply problems, most likely stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resultant international sanctions against Russia. The chain’s Kazakh operator, Food Solutions KZ, said it would reopen its branches under a new brand. McDonald’s began operating in Kazakhstan in 2016, opening restaurants in 24 cities.
- Slim Chickens has opened a new unit in the U.K., in Cheshire Oaks, with existing franchisee Boparan Restaurant Group, a multi-brand operator based in Birmingham, England. The “better chicken” brand, which started in in 2003 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has opened more than 200 locations in the U.S. and the U.K. and has 1,100 more in development.
- The Habit Burger Grill opened a new restaurant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on January 15, its seventh in the country. The restaurant is located at Aeon Mall Mean Chey, the largest retail mall in the country. The brand, which started in 1969 in Santa Barbara, California, has 330+ restaurants in 14 U.S. states and 12 international locations (5 in China and 7 in Cambodia).
- Twin Peaks opened a new restaurant in Cancun on December 19, its first in the country outside of Mexico City. Located on the ground floor of the Malecón las Américas shopping center. Cancun is the fourth Twin Peaks in the country, with a fifth scheduled to open in the Encuentro Oceania shopping mall in Mexico City in March. The company says expansion will continue in Mexico and further into Latin America with plans for 32 lodges south of the U.S. border.
- Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming has announced it will open its first store in Canada in 2023. The store, Woof Gang’s first franchise-owned international location, will be located in Canada in the Greater Toronto area. The brand has plans to open 200 locations in the country. The brand has 200 locations open or under development across 18 states in the U.S.
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