Carl’s Jr. will open up to 200 restaurants over the next 10 years in Australia under a new master franchise agreement.
The burger brand’s parent company CKE Restaurants Holdings has signed an agreement with CJ’s QSR (Franchise) Group, which will now oversee expansion of the US brand across the country.
Since introducing Carl’s Jr. to Australia in 2016 in Bateau Bay, New South Wales, the brand has grown to nearly 30 restaurants throughout Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and NSW under separate franchise agreements with four separate businesses.
CJ’s QSR will build on its current portfolio of 11 corporate sites in Victoria, and one in Wetherill Park, Sydney.
The Agostino Group operates exclusively in South Australia and has three stores, The Bansal Group operates in Queensland on a non-exclusive basis and has 10 outlets, and Ostaford Pty Ltd operates two restaurants on the Central Coast of NSW.
With the transfer of their franchise agreements from CKE Restaurant Holdings to CJ’s QSR these three franchisees will continue to operate their own businesses, and add sites to their portfolios.
Andrew Firn, managing director of CJ’s QSR, told Inside Franchise Business Executive, “Existing franchisees will have an agreement with us. We already have a support office in Victoria, a construction manager, marketing manager and head of franchise. It’s full steam ahead.”
CJ’s QSR will be seeking new franchisees in all states and territories except SA/NT (Agostino exclusive territory) and Firn is expecting to open another 27 restaurants within a year.
“We are passionate about Carl’s Jr. and have been buoyed by the appetite that exists in the Australian market for our Chargrilled Burgers,” he said.“This decision reflects CKE’s global ambitions, commitment to Australia and the desire for a rapid pace of expansion.”
He said Australia has been recognised as a key market for the brand which has just opened its 1000th outlet outside the US, in Spain.
“There is the opportunity to develop Tasmania, WA, NSW, Queensland and Victoria a lot faster. There’s a lot of land to put a lot of restaurants. We will get to 200 fairly quickly.”
Greg Rako, director franchising for CJ’s QSR, revealed new sites are already in development.
“This is an exciting time for our brand and we have some amazing franchisees already, but there are many opportunities to grow as we aggressively expand into new Australian cities and regions.
“As we establish Carl’s Jr. in new markets, across Australia, our franchise network will create local jobs and economic growth.”
Each Carl’s Jr. store provides between 60 and 100 new jobs.
Firn said the corporate restaurants will be developed alongside franchise expansion, although some regional outlets may be sub-franchised.
Mike Woida, president of CKE International, welcomed the deepening of the relationship between the two businesses.
He said “CJ’s QSR has shown incredible commitment and dedication to bringing our iconic burgers into the Australian community, as have our other Carl’s Jr. franchise partners in the territory.”
CKE Restaurants Holdings runs and operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s and has more than 3,900 restaurants globally.
This story originally appeared on Inside Franchise Business Executive.