The World Must Eat: International Foodservice Franchise Expansion Continues To Grow
April 2022 begins the third year of living under the cloud of the Covid pandemic. (No news there, just keeping score.) Yet, as we’ve noted in previous issues, global businesses have learned to adapt. Although Covid-related problems such as supply chain and labor issues persist, people still have to eat. This month our international deals roundup focuses on food: ice cream, pizza, bubble tea, chicken, hamburgers, and coffee… plus a German hotel group with big expansion plans.
- Baskin-Robbins and master licensee Galadari Ice Cream Company opened the doors to its 1,000th store across the Middle East, North Africa, and Australia on March 10. “I could not be more proud of the strong ice cream business we have built across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, and Australia,” said Ahmed Osman, Galadari’s CEO.
- California Pizza Kitchen has signed two new international development agreements and plans to open 7 international restaurants and 2 airport locations by year-end. The recently signed deals include agreements in Costa Rica and Chile, bringing the brand’s locations to approximately 50 overseas restaurants. Additionally, new locations are set to open in India, Chile, Costa Rica, Canada (Alberta), as well as in the Santiago, Chile and Costa Rica, San Jose airports.
- Gong cha is planning to expand in Australia with a further 17 bubble tea stores this year, adding to the 118 already operating in the country. The plans are part of a bigger international expansion goal for 2022, which includes New York, where 25 more stores planned; Mexico, where the company plans to almost double the number of stores to 51); and the Philippines, where 34 new stores are planned. Worldwide, Gong Cha had 1,661 stores at the end of 2021, including 90 new outlets opened in Japan.
- Popeyes has announced plans to open hundreds of new restaurants across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan in a deal with Jubilant Foodworks Limited. Part of the Jubilant Bhartia Group, Jubilant Foodworks is one of India’s largest foodservice companies and holds the master franchise rights for Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts. It also operates its own brands, Hong’s Kitchen, Chef Boss, and Ekdum! in India. In all, the company operates more than 1,300 outlets.
- Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen has signed a 5-unit franchise deal in Qatar. Texas-based Russo’s has more than 50 locations across the United States and 8 restaurants in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Set to open as soon as November 2022 (in time for the country’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup), the inaugural restaurant will be located in the Doha Oasis mixed-use district.
- Tim Hortons Middle East master franchisee AG Café has announced plans to expand the brand’s presence in the region to more than 200 coffee shops by 2024. AG currently operates 90 coffee shops in Saudi Arabia, and has a total of more than 190 Tim Hortons locations across the GCC. The company plans to further expand its presence in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, and soon in Kuwait and Egypt.
- TUI Blue has announced plans to grow to 300+ hotels worldwide. According to the company, the focus is on the development of new regions for expansion in Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and the Middle East. An important driver for its future growth strategy are international partnerships in which TUI Blue hotels are operated either under management contracts or by franchisees.
- Wendy’s is set to debut breakfast nationwide across Canada on May 2. Among other menu adaptations to local tastes, the company will offer a medium-roast coffee blend made specifically for Canadian customers. “Our culinary team spent 2 years conducting extensive research to deliver this breakfast menu,” said Hayley Kianoff, Wendy’s manager of international culinary innovation. “We tested 15 different menu concepts with more than 3,700 Canadian quick-service consumers to make sure we got it right.”
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