Carpinteria, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In an ongoing effort to bring its iconic Happy Star™ logo to the Lone Star State, CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR) today announced a franchise development deal to open 72 Carl's Jr.® restaurants in the Dallas and Houston markets over the next nine years. The agreement with Star Foods Investors Group comes just six weeks after CKE announced a 121-unit expansion agreement in Texas with RWJP Star Enterprises.
"We initiated our commitment to Texas expansion with the opening of new company owned Carl's Jr. restaurants in the state last year, and we continue to build momentum with this announcement of 72 additional units in Dallas and Houston," said Andrew F. Puzder, CEO, CKE Restaurants, Inc. "Combined with the previously announced franchise deal for 121 units, we believe Texas is well on its way to becoming a major stronghold for our brand. We anticipate further franchise development agreements for Texas markets, as well as ongoing company expansion. Much like our burgers and our franchise deals, everything is bigger in Texas."
The deal calls for Star Foods to develop 32 restaurants in Dallas and 40 in the Houston market. The franchise group's background is in commercial real estate acquisition, construction and development in the Western US, with more than 25 years expertise in multi-unit operations and management in the fast food industry. Partner Kam Mateen of Cannon Commercial is already a major developer in the Dallas and Houston markets.
"This is a strong development opportunity with great potential in Texas," said Mateen, a partner in Star Foods Investors Group. "Carl's Jr. is one of the top franchises and operates at a higher level than the competition because of its premium quality food and franchise-friendly business model. We are looking forward to building great relationships and growing the brand in these markets."
The previously announced deal with RWJP Star Enterprises calls for 121 Carl's Jr. restaurants in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Tyler/Longview and Beaumont, Texas markets over the next 10 years.
Carl's Jr. has been aggressively pursuing both franchise and company-owned restaurant expansion in Texas where its premium-quality menu and star-shaped icon have been very well received, and where the business environment is favorable. In the past six months, the company has opened five units in the San Antonio and Austin markets, will open an additional restaurant in San Antonio next week, and plans to open several more company-owned restaurants in these markets in 2009. In addition, there are currently 18 franchised units in Texas, including eight in El Paso, five in the greater Dallas area, two in Wichita Falls, and one each in San Antonio, Austin and Laredo.
Each Carl's Jr. restaurant is expected to employ an average of 50 full- and part-time employees.
This agreement is the latest step in the company's program to increase overall unit growth, particularly franchise unit growth and the first agreement of fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2009, the company entered into a total of 20 franchise development agreements representing commitments for 380 restaurants, consisting of 236 domestic units and 144 international units, including agreements to enter three new countries - China, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. Over the next five years, the Company anticipates it will add more than 800 new restaurants to its global store base. In the process, franchised restaurants should increase from 68.5 percent of the system to approximately 75 percent and international locations should increase from 10 percent of the system to approximately 20 percent.
Headquartered in Carpinteria, Calif., CKE Restaurants, Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CKR." As of the third fiscal quarter ended November 3, 2008, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,110 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, including 1,185 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,912 Hardee's restaurants.
Source: CKE Restaurants, Inc.