Global fast food chain Carl’s Jr. ® announced plans to launch its famous, premium-quality burgers in Australia. CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s Jr., today signed a development agreement with Australia’s BKG Group to develop, open and operate 10 new Carl’s Jr. restaurants in central, mid and northern New South Wales coasts.
The deal is the first in Australia for the premium burger chain and kicks off an ambitious expansion plan to bring 300 Carl’s Jr. restaurants to the continent over the next 10-15 years.
CKE’s partnership with BKG Group follows the record-breaking 2011 launch of Carl’s Jr. in New Zealand. Fifteen Carl’s Jr. restaurants are successfully operating now in New Zealand with an average unit volume of USD$2.2 million. Another five sites are currently in development there.
“We are very pleased to welcome BKG Group to the Carl’s Jr. franchise team,” said Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. “BKG Group’s demonstrated entrepreneurial stewardship provides strong leadership to launch Carl’s Jr. into Australia. And, Australia is a highly relevant market for our renowned menu of premium-quality selections anchored by our signature 100 percent Angus beef Thickburgers.”
The new partnership leverages BKG Group subsidiary BYO Cellars’ vast customer experience and their ability to connect to Carl’s Jr.’s “Young, Hungry Guy” target audience. Known as retail innovators who understand Australian consumer lifestyles, BYO Cellars proprietors Brian George and Lindsay Brennan were the first to offer off-license alcohol sales in New South Wales more than 30 years ago.
“This is a hugely exciting opportunity for us. Carl’s Jr. meets a gap in the market for a gourmet burger experience at fast food pricing,” said Lindsay Brennan, General Manager, BKG Group. “With the backing of a successful international company that provides high-quality food, edgy marketing, and industry-leading service, we believe Carl’s Jr. will appeal to the Australian culture.”
“The Carl’s Jr. success in New Zealand demonstrates the potential for the brand in Australia,” said Ned Lyerly, EVP, International, CKE Restaurants. “In New Zealand, we’ve opened 15 restaurants in the past three years and have achieved sales above those seen in North America where the brand is well-loved among 18- to 30-year-old young, hungry guys. This first agreement with BKG Group is welcomed as we gain momentum for additional development agreements across the country.”
Outside the U.S., there are a total of 578 international restaurants under the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s banners in 30 foreign countries and U.S. territories.
CKE is seeking bold, entrepreneurial, well-capitalized franchise partners to develop multi-unit areas and to operate Carl’s Jr. stores in franchise territories across Australia. DC Strategy, Australasia’s premier franchise advisory firm, is screening prospective franchisees and facilitating Carl’s Jr.’s growth and development in the market. For more information, please visit www.carlsjrfranchising.com/australia.