CHARLOTTE, NC - (Marketwire - Aug 28, 2012) - Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOTR) ("Chanticleer" or the "Company"), a minority owner in the privately-held parent company of the Hooters® brand, Hooters of America ("HOA"), and a franchisee of international Hooters® restaurants, announced today the opening of its first Hooters® restaurant in Budapest, Hungary.
The restaurant opened with a star-studded "VIP" event on August 25th attended by approximately 250 guests, including many notable celebrities from both television and film. The VIP party was sponsored by Grey Goose® Vodka, Dreher Brewery, Bacardi®, and Coca-Cola. The event was covered by Hungarian National TV and the National Nightly News in Hungary. The restaurant opened to the public on August 27th with 56 of the world famous Hooters Girls in attendance to welcome and serve customers.
Hooters® Budapest is located in the middle of Franz Liszt Square, a popular outdoor pedestrian destination, especially during the summer months. The 7,684 square foot floor plan, which has a unique cosmopolitan and contemporary design, has three levels, two bars, 52 state-of-the-art televisions, and capacity for more than 400 customers, including 150 outside seats. The closest local competitor has less than 10 televisions.
The restaurant is situated on a boardwalk nestled between Andrassy Fashion Street and the Kiraly walking street, and is approximately 150 feet away from the Octogon, Budapest's largest thoroughfare -- where 3 subway lines, 2 tram lines and 4 bus lines meet. Andrassy Street is known for its high fashion brands from Armani to Davidoff, while Kiraly Street is known for its clubs and bars which cater largely to Budapest's under 30 crowd.
Alex Hemingway, CEO of Chanticleer Holdings' European operations, commented, "We have had an incredible series of events to open our Budapest Hooters location. The 'buzz' surrounding the opening, as well as the local and national media coverage, has been nothing short of spectacular. We have great reason to be very optimistic about the prospects of Hooters Budapest being a very successful restaurant."
Terry Marks, CEO of Hooters of America, LLC, stated, "The expansion of Hooters into Hungary is a testament to the global attraction of the brand. As a commercial, cultural and transportation hub for the country, Budapest provides the perfect destination for Hooters' great food and iconic hospitality. We are thrilled to open in the beautiful capitol city, marking the 28th international country for Hooters."
In April 2012, Chanticleer acquired the exclusive franchise rights to develop and operate Hooters® restaurants in Hungary. Alex Hemingway, Director of Chanticleer Europe, will oversee day-to-day operations and the development of the Hooters® franchise in Hungary. Mr. Hemingway has over 13 years of international restaurant management experience, including six years in Hungary as the Chief Executive and President of a franchise group for Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Under the franchise agreement, Chanticleer will own 80% of Chanticleer's businesses in Hungary, with a management group led by Mr. Hemingway owning the remaining 20%.
Chanticleer Holdings is focused on expanding the Hooters® casual dining restaurant brand in international emerging markets. Chanticleer currently owns all or part of the exclusive franchise rights to develop and operate Hooters® restaurants in South Africa, Hungary and parts of Brazil, and has a joint venture with the current Hooters® franchisee in Australia, while evaluating several additional international opportunities. The Company currently owns and operates in whole or part six Hooters® restaurants in its international franchise territories: Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Emperor's Palace in South Africa; Campbelltown, Australia, and Budapest, Hungary. The Company expects to open a Hooters in Surfers Paradise, Australia before year-end.
In 2011, Chanticleer and a group of noteworthy private equity investors, which included H.I.G. Capital, KarpReilly, LLC and Kelly Hall, president of Texas Wings Inc., the largest Hooters® franchisee in the United States, acquired Hooters of America ("HOA"), the privately-held parent company of the Hooters® brand. Today, HOA is the franchisor and operator of over 430 Hooters® restaurants in 27 countries. Chanticleer maintains a minority ownership stake in HOA and its CEO, Mike Pruitt, is also a member of HOA's Board of Directors. For further information, please visit www.chanticleerholdings.com or www.hooters.com and follow us on Twitter at @ChantHoldings or @Hooters.
Any statements that are not historical facts contained in this release are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "plans," "projects," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates," and other words of similar meaning. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in the companies' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and the companies do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.
V.P. Investor Relations
The Del Mar Consulting Group, Inc.
Robert B. Prag