A collection of recent restaurant openings from U.S. chains expanding internationally and domestically.
- Carl’s Jr., part of CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc. along with sister-brand Hardee’s, opened its first site in Chile in March in conjunction with franchise partner Corachi SpA. The two-story restaurant resides in Santiago’s Providencia district. A corporate press release announcing the opening noted that South America is one of the chain’s more important growth markets. The statement also noted recent global expansion into Australia, Japan and Cambodia.
- The Counter, a full-service create-your-own-burger concept, plans to expand in Mexico City and Tokyo, plus additional domestic restaurants in Florida, Boston, North Carolina, Texas and Arizona.
- Domino’s Pizza opened a new store in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, outside the capital of Kuala Lumpur. The store marks the 200th Domino’s opening in the Malaysian market; the 3,500th in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Eltana, a four-unit wood-fired bagel cafe operation in Seattle, will open a store in Japan in either Tokyo or Osaka though a license agreement with Fujio Food System. A Seattle Times story explains how the unlikely partnership developed.
- Firehouse Subs’ franchisee Caribbean Restaurants Inc. (CRI) plans to open several hundred restaurants across Mexico. CRI operates 12 Firehouse Subs in Puerto Rico, along with 175 Burger King restaurants.
- Grimaldi’s Pizzeriawill venture into the international arena for the first time with the opening of five pizzerias in the United Arab Emirates over the next five years. The international agreement pairs Grimaldi’s with Tablez Food Company, the food and beverage arm of Lulu International Group LLC.
- Papa John’s International Inc. will open 20 stores in Morocco through an agreement with Planet Pizza Inc., a Morroco-based company with exclusive development rights for the restaurant concept there. The first location will open in Casablanca. Papa John’s opened stores in six new countries in 2016: France, Iraq, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands and Tunisia.
- Russo’s Restaurants, the parent company of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, opened its first Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Franchisee Abdulrahman Al Arifi opened this location and plans to open 60 more in the next 10 years. New international markets for Russo’s New York Pizzeria include Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt.
- Texas Chicken, the sister brand of Church’s Chicken outside North American and Asia, expanded its footprint in the Middle East with the opening of a store in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Restaurant group Ali Bin Rajab & Sons owns the rights to Texas Chicken in Bahrain and plans to open five total sites there by 2020.
- Black Bear Diner plans to open 21 restaurants this year.
- Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar signed a three-store development agreement for California. The chain expects the units to open by 2019 to 2022.
- Bruster’s Real Ice Cream will open three locations in Los Angeles.
- Cousin’s Subs will open 10 locations in Chicago plus 1 in Rockford, Ill., and 1 in Madison, Wis.
- Checker’s will open 20 units in the Washington, D.C., area.
- Dairy Queen will open 15 locations in Houston over the next 5 years.
- Del Taco will open five restaurants in the Atlanta area.
- Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open 12 stores in North Carolina.
- East Coast Wings + Grill opened two new stores during the first quarter 2017, one in Burlington, N.C. and the other in Bartlett, Tenn. The chain plans to open 10 additional locations by 2018.
- Fazoli’shas signed an agreement with Travel Centers of America for a total of four restaurants in Connecticut, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas.
- Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s, opened his fourth Jimmie’s Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse., known for being a bit more fast-casual than Famous Dave’s. Minnesota Monthly provides some insight on the naming convention issues and a review.
- Muscle Maker Grill will open two restaurants in Chicago.
- Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened 30 cafes the first quarter of this year and signed agreements for another 30 cafes to open later this year.
- Wetzel’s Pretzels will open five locations in Texas.