Carl's Jr. bites into B.C.'s Lower Mainland

Western Investor
January 31, 2013

Multinational burger giant Carl's Jr. opened its first Lower Mainland store in mid-January and plans to open another five outlets in Metro Vancouver in each of the next five years, the company's head of Canadian operations told Business in Vancouver.

"We'd grow even faster in Vancouver if we could find locations," said Carl's Jr. general manager for Canada Jeff Branton, who is based in Vancouver.

The first restaurant will be at Dunsmuir and Howe in Vancouver, the second in Kamloops.

Carl's Jr. opened its first Canadian location in Kelowna last summer and has since opened in Vernon, Chilliwack and Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Branton said the company has franchisees who have committed to open approximately 50 more stores, including one franchisee who has dibs on the Metro Vancouver territory and intends to open 25 stores.

The chain has put in multiple offers at various Metro Vancouver locations, but Branton said he could not confirm yet where the chain would open next.

Carl's Jr. has a sibling restaurant chain called Hardee's. Combined, the two operations form the fifth-largest fast-food chain in the U.S., with more than 3,400 outlets.

Carl's Jr. is owned by Apollo Global Management.

"Quite a few Canadians know our brand from going to California and Disneyland so that's one of the reasons we're so excited to come up to Canada," Branton said.

Franchisees pay a one-time fee of $10,000 for a territory and then $60,000 per location. They also pay a royalty fee of 5 per cent and an advertising fee of between 4 per cent and 7 per cent.

Franchisees are expected to have a net worth of $1 million per location.

"In Victoria we could use some franchisees, but B.C. is pretty much already sold," Branton said.

Carl's Jr. is also expanding to the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Denmark, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey and China.

– Glen Korstrom/BIV

from Western Investor February 2013

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