The latest Franchise Time Development Deal Tracker is out and the Restaurant Brokers love to weigh in on this industry news. News on the street is that "four is better than three" with new deals signed for taking four new units to the street in South Carolina and Southern California. Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom is coming to Greenville, Spartenburg and Horry County. The first location will be in the booming town of Myrtle Beach South Carolina later this year. The developer is long time entrepreneur Brent Collier. According to Franchise TImes, he has owned a fariety of franchises throughout his five-decade career, including The Melting Pot, Quaker Steak & Lube, Golden Corral and TGI Fridays, all of which he still owns today. The restaurant brokers see this as a great development deal and South Carolina is actually an often overlooked state for development since it's major cities (Columbia, Myrtle Beach) don't rank as "NFL cities" with millions of residents. What South Carolina does offer is an excellent business environment, a very business friendly governor, along with being a right to work state. All this plus good occupancy rates and continued building, make this a good choice for deal development.
While Collier is going to South Carolina, the next four unit deal reported by Franchise Times is for Southern California where BMB Foods Inc. has agreed to open four Juice It Up! units. This is a much tougher market for development as the restuarant brokers are hearing of significant slow downs in California. These are linked to minimum wage discussions and the incredibly high cost of construction and permitting as well as limited space. The Juice It Up! units going into this market have the advantage of being able to openin retail space versus traditional restaurant units where a grease treap and hood are required but our intelligence on the street says that California is a very tough market.
Pizza stays in the news with Pieolgy announcing a megal deal with Segovia Aslan Enterprises. They are targeting their development in the Southeastern United States including Tennessee, Alabama, North and Sound Carolina and Georgia. This is a smart move and while real estate remains tight for additional franchise development, the restaurant brokers believe the South still has plenty of room for growth.
The pizza trend continues with one of the fastest growing Uncle Maddio's franchisees in the system expanding into new markets. These strong operators, Michael Holmes and his wife Alicia operate the number one sales unit for the chain and have have opened their third Uncle Maddio's pizza franchise in East Orlando, Florida. The couple opened their first restaurant in Tallahassee more than two years ago and a second one more recently according to Franchise Times.
The latest two deal trackers show a lot of movement with Dickey's Barbecue Pit. They have signed both a three-store development agreement for Central Ohio with Owner/Operator Kelley Millikin as well as a new 12-store development agreement with Michael Tucker, who originally committed to four stores for Indio, Moreno Valley and Redlands, California. We continue to be surprised by the growth of this concept nationally as food costs are notoriously difficult to control in a barbeque environment but this Dickey's barbecue Pit appears to be tapping into strong developers for continued growth.
The first Potbelly Sandwich Shop is opening in Iowa with franchisee Paul Goldammer at the helm. The unit is opening across the street from the Iowa State University Memorial Union building. The restaurant brokers are glad to see the Potbelly concept expanding but always see a difficult start as the first unit in a market. We'll keep an eye on this location.
As if hamburgers weren't enough, hot dog brand, Wienerschnitzel, has inked a three-unit development agreement with PBA Properties to build the brand throughout San Antonio, Texas. They currently operate with a signiificant presence throughout the Southwest, including 39 Texas locations.
Nashville-based Excellent Taco LLC has inked a 20-store deal with Taco John's for Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, with an option for 32 more locations. Principals Richard Reeves and Lawrence Lavigne are experienced multi-unit foodservice operators whose backgrounds include Jet's Pizza and World of Beer franchises, among others.
Captain D's LLC, a fast-casual seafood restaurant, reeled in new franchisee Amin Gulamali, a successful entrepreneur and business owner with more than 25 years in the convenience store, hotel and hospitality industries. Gulamali plans to develop three restaurants in the greater Orlando area, which will be the brand's first new restaurants in the market in nearly two decades. In addition, Ali Momin, Abrar Momin and Micky Patel, will add two new Captain D's to the Atlanta market in Lovejoy and Douglasville, Georgia.
The overseas explosion continues as franchises expand beyond the borders of the United States. Franchise Times reports that Buffalo Wild Wings-backed,fast-casual pizza chain, PizzaRev, opened its first international franchise location, in Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, the first of 20 restaurants to be developed by Grupo Galería throughout Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Nuevo León and Coahuila. This company has strong experience in Mexico and owns an expansive restaurant portfolio throughout Mexico, including a food distribution center and 42 Carl's Jr., four Buffalo Wild Wings and five IHOP restaurants. The group is the largest Carl's Jr. franchisee in Mexico.
BurgerFi, with 83 locations worldwide, has reached an eight-unit development deal for the State of Kuwait, with CEO Abdullah Ajrash of Austrian Business Development Group (ABDG), a leader in business development initiatives in the Middle East. The restaurant brokers have seen the Middle East markets experience strong growth from American brands but we wonder when the market will reach a tipping point.
That's our feedback on the development deal tracker. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts. To view the latest restaurant for sale listings, follow this link.