Schlotzsky’s Inks Franchise Agreement for 55 New Restaurants Throughout Seven Former Soviet Countries

Schlotzsky’s®, home of The Original® round toasted sandwich and famous Fresh-from-Scratch® buns, recently signed a franchise agreement for 55 restaurants throughout seven of the former Soviet countries, including Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

The master franchise agreement was awarded to Moscow-based entrepreneur Mehmet Akpinar, who plans to open the first restaurant in Moscow. The remaining locations are expected to open over the next 10 years.

“This is a time-tested brand that has the ability to bring people together, from all walks, in their love for Schlotzsky’s sandwiches,” said Akpinar, who currently owns Pegas Touristik, a large tour operator which services Moscow and Antalya, as well as the newly formed Golden International Management Services Ltd. “After looking at the international success of Focus Brands’ restaurants and the available market share for a restaurant like Schlotzsky’s in these countries, it seemed like a natural fit for us. I’m thrilled to open the first location.”

Mike Shattuck, President of Focus Brands International, said this was one of the more significant deals the company has ever signed.

“This is a huge deal for us – we love expanding the Schlotzsky’s brand with entrepreneurs like Mehmet, who understand the complexities, challenges, and rewards of operating a company within their respective country,” he said.

As with domestic growth, further international expansion remains a focal point for Schlotzsky’s in 2013 and beyond. Company plans call for over 30 locations in the next five years.

International Schlotzsky’s franchise locations can currently be found in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and South Africa.

Schlotzsky’s offers more than 15 different sandwiches on its famous unique round freshly-baked buns, as well as gourmet pizzas made with Fresh-from-Scratch crusts, freshly made-to-order tossed salads, and a variety of soups.

Source: Restaurant News

FOCUS Brands Now 1,000 International Units Strong

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FOCUS Brands Inc., the fast-growing company responsible for overseas expansion of Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Carvel Ice Cream, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Schlotzsky’s, and Seattle’s Best Coffee, has opened its 1,000th international location—a milestone capitalizing on the vast global opportunities for U.S. food brands.

The 1,000th location is a cobranded Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s store, which debuted November 29 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, at The Fall of Westmall. It is operated by Cinnaworld Ltd., a franchise group consisting of a husband-and-wife team from Trinidad. Naveed Mohammed and Renee Peterson are entrepreneurs by trade and have opened a total of five Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon stores in the Trinidad and Tobago area. The duo recently expanded their territory rights to include Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Grenada and have committed to opening an additional 15 locations over the next seven years. The group, Cinnaworld Ltd., also received the award for “International New Franchise Partner of the Year” for 2011 at the FOCUS Brands Worldwide Convention in January 2012.

“This opening is a landmark in our international expansion plan, which is crucial for our growth,” says Mike Shattuck,president of FOCUS Brands International. “Building our global brand presence has substantial value for us, especially when we can increase our visibility and brand presence by opening in high-traffic venues in new markets.”

In 2012, FOCUS Brands opened 205 locations in international markets, and a projected 260 will open this year. This growth comes while FOCUS Brands continues to increase its domestic footprint in the U.S. through franchise expansion of all brands.

Earlier this year, Cinnabon and Carvel became the first American brands to open in Libya, with nine additional Cinnabon bakeries and new Carvel and Moe’s Southwest Grill locations on the way. Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s recently expanded to Russia.

More than 80 new Auntie Anne’s bakeries have opened in 2012 internationally and plans call for more than 118 to open overseas in 2013 in countries such as Vietnam, Bahamas, India, and Aruba, as well as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Cinnabon bakeries operate in more than 51 countries and will launch in Iraq, Mongolia, and Ukraine in the coming year.

“We are thrilled by the consumer response we’re seeing when our brands enter a new market,” Shattuck says. “We’re always looking for opportunities to grow with individuals who possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the right industry experience.”

Source: QSR Magazine

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