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Latest Franchise Deals Inked for 2016 Compiled by the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jan 3, 2017 7:01:00 AM

As we ring in 2017, several groups made quick bids to get deals in contract and announce franchise expansions just before 2016 ended.  The restaurant brokers have combed the latest news articles and carefully read the Franchise Times deal update to uncover the lastest franchise units announced across the nation.  What's on tap for 2017?  Here's your first look at hundreds of new franchise units either acquired or signed in late 2016. 

One of the latest large deals announced was with GPS Hospitality, the Atlanta, Georgia based franchisee group.  They are expanding their national footprint with the acquisition of 194 Burger King Restaurants into five states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. With this acquistion, GPS Hospitality has doubled its size and is on track to meet its goal of $1 billion in company sales in 10 years.

Bar Louie, a self described, "neighborhood bar and eatery with handcrafted cocktails" has around 110 units in operation.  They just inked a new three unit develop
Growth among pubs.jpgment agreement in the Lexington and Louisville markets.  The same group is currently building out a unit in Lexington Kentucky. The restaurant brokers are seeing renewed interest on all franchise fronts in the Kentucky markets which, while not as large as other markets, can often cement a mid-tier brand as a major player.  Two other concepts that feature full service in a neighborhood bar style also announced plans to expand. 

Walk-On Bistreaux & Bar will be introducing it's brand to eight new markets in four states, increasing Walk-On's franchise locations to 50. These new locations are Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Gainesville, Pensacola and Tallahasee, Florida; Gulfport, Mississippi; and Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee. In June of 2017, a Zachary, Louisiana franchise location will be opening.

Big Whiskey’s Franchising LLC has announced the signing of its newest franchisee in Kansas City.  Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar currently operates 3 restaurants in Springfield, one each in Ozark & Branson and will open its first franchised location in Bentonville AR in February 2017. Big Whiskey’s began franchising in late 2015.

A similar style concept BreWingZ Restaurant and Bar opened its second location in the San Antonio area at 5630 Walzem Road.  This marks the family friendly restaurant chain's 23rd location. BreWingZ is based in Houston Texas.  .

The trend continues for neighborhood full service wtih bars.  North Carolina based Hickory Tavern is opening its newest South Carolina location and their 25th restaurant overall. The new restaurant, located along the Grand Strand at the Coastal North Town Center.  This expands the count to six stores in South Carolina.  Their Hilton Head location opened earlier this year. 

Still another concept in a similar vein, Scotty's Brewhouse is also growing.  Due North Holdings, LLC, has acquired the Indiana-based, Scotty's Brewhouse. Scotty's Brewhouse, has expanded to 17 locations in Florida, Indiana, and Illinois. Due North Holdings, LLC is planning on expanding the current Midwest region and is looking to bring the concept to the Southwestern US including Arizona within the next year.

What's driving all this growth among full service Americanized 'pubs' and neighborhood bars?  The restaurant brokers think a number of operators are seeing thinner and thinner margins in fast casual and relatively low check averages.  Add full service to the equation and increase the tab with alcohol sales at higher profits and suddenly a unit can go from $500,000 in volume to a million in volume.  We'll withhold judgement on how much saturation the market can handle.  This report alone has highlighted seven concepts all vying for growth in the same space.  If this trend takes off, it will certainly squeeze independent operators of the actual neighborhood pub out of the mix especially as they face higher occupancy costs and deal with the additional regulation thrown at them in recent years.  

Moving on from full service to Mexican Fast casual, both El Pollo Loco and Del Taco are seeing expansion. as Mexican remains a top favorite of American consumers.  A franchisee partner, Poco Loco's, LLC,  is expanding in Utah with a restaurant in West Valley, the fourth location in Utah. . In addition, Chicken Time I, LLC, an affiliate of Henry Investment Group, opened its second El Pollo Loco location, in Hurst, Texas. Sierra Pollo Inc opened its sixth location, this one in Bishop, California.

Del Taco isn't being left out of the Mexican growth mix.  They announced two recent deals: One with CAI Investments to build 10 locations in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area beginning in 2018. Four locations, opening in southeastern Phoenix in 2018.  In addition, Taco Bueno announced that it will be expanding with the signing of new expansion agreements in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Dunkin Donut's is pouring it on in the south.  They announced current deals with one group for six restaurants in Greenville and three new restaurants in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  More Dunkin' Donuts stores, including some co-branded ones with sister brand, Baskin-Robbins ice cream, were also announced for a total of 65 new restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth, 35 new Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Wise, Rockwall and Hunt Counties. 

From name brand to upstart, Rise Biscuit Donuts franchise will be adding 30 units in Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina. The first store planning to open in early 2017. They may not be as well known as Dunkin Donuts but they're rapidly growing.  The franchise has 100 stores under developments in nine states.

As the nation embarks on a healthier start to 2017, two smoothie concepts announced growth.  Tropical Smoothie Cafe will be growing in Florida with the opening of four new locations in the next several years. The goal for the area will be at least 50 cafes in the Tampa area. Juice It Up! franchise in California also announced a new location in the Riverside area.

As we ring in 2017, several groups made quick bids to get deals in contract and announce franchise expansions just before 2016 ended.  The restaurant brokers have combed the latest news articles and carefully read the Franchise Times deal update to uncover the latest franchise units announced across the nation.  What's on tap for 2017?  Here's your first look at hundreds of new franchise units either acquired or signed in late 2016. 

One of the latest large deals announced was with GPS Hospitality, the Atlanta, Georgia based franchisee group.  They are expanding their national footprint with the acquisition of 194 Burger King Restaurants into five states including AlabamaArkansasFloridaLouisiana, and Mississippi. With this acquisition, GPS Hospitality has doubled its size and is on track to meet its goal of $1 billion in company sales in 10 years.

Bar Louie, a self-described, "neighborhood bar and eatery with handcrafted cocktails" has around 110 units in operation.  They just inked a new three unit development agreement in the Lexington and Louisville markets.  The same group is currently building out a unit in Lexington Kentucky. The restaurant brokers are seeing renewed interest on all franchise fronts in the Kentucky markets which, while not as large as other markets, can often cement a mid-tier brand as a major player.  Two other concepts that feature full service in a neighborhood bar style also announced plans to expand. 

Walk-On Bistreaux & Bar will be introducing its brand to eight new markets in four states, increasing Walk-On's franchise locations to 50. These new locations are Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Gainesville, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Florida; Gulfport, Mississippi; and Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee. In June of 2017, a Zachary, Louisiana franchise location will be opening.

Big Whiskey’s Franchising LLC has announced the signing of its newest franchisee in Kansas City.  Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar currently operates 3 restaurants in Springfield, one each in Ozark & Branson and will open its first franchised location in Bentonville AR in February 2017. Big Whiskey’s began franchising in late 2015.

A similar style concept BreWingZ Restaurant and Bar opened its second location in the San Antonio area at 5630 Walzem Road.  This marks the family friendly restaurant chain's 23rd location. BreWingZ is based in Houston Texas.  .

The trend continues for neighborhood full service with bars.  North Carolina based Hickory Tavern is opening its newest South Carolina location and their 25th restaurant overall. The new restaurant, located along the Grand Strand at the Coastal North Town Center.  This expands the count to six stores in South Carolina.  Their Hilton Head location opened earlier this year. 

Still another concept in a similar vein, Scotty's Brewhouse is also growing.  Due North Holdings, LLC, has acquired the Indiana-based, Scotty's Brewhouse. Scotty's Brewhouse, has expanded to 17 locations in FloridaIndiana, and Illinois. Due North Holdings, LLC is planning on expanding the current Midwest region and is looking to bring the concept to the Southwestern US including Arizona within the next year.

What's driving all this growth among full service Americanized 'pubs' and neighborhood bars?  The restaurant brokers think a number of operators are seeing thinner and thinner margins in fast casual and relatively low check averages.  Add full service to the equation and increase the tab with alcohol sales at higher profits and suddenly a unit can go from $500,000 in volume to a million in volume.  We'll withhold judgement on how much saturation the market can handle.  This report alone has highlighted seven concepts all vying for growth in the same space.  If this trend takes off, it will certainly squeeze independent operators of the actual neighborhood pub out of the mix especially as they face higher occupancy costs and deal with the additional regulation thrown at them in recent years.  

Moving on from full service to Mexican Fast casual, both El Pollo Loco and Del Taco are seeing expansion as Mexican remains a top favorite of American consumers.  A franchisee partner, Poco Loco's, LLC, is expanding in Utah with a restaurant in West Valley, the fourth location in Utah. . In addition, Chicken Time I, LLC, an affiliate of Henry Investment Group, opened its second El Pollo Loco location, in Hurst, TexasSierra Pollo Inc opened its sixth location, this one in Bishop, California.

Del Taco isn't being left out of the Mexican growth mix.  They announced two recent deals: One with CAI Investments to build 10 locations in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area beginning in 2018. Four locations, opening in southeastern Phoenix in 2018.  In addition, Taco Bueno announced that it will be expanding with the signing of new expansion agreements in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Dunkin Donut's is pouring it on in the south.  They announced current deals with one group for six restaurants in Greenville and three new restaurants in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  More Dunkin' Donuts stores, including some co-branded ones with sister brand, Baskin-Robbins ice cream, were also announced for a total of 65 new restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth, 35 new Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Wise, Rockwall and Hunt Counties. 

From name brand to upstart, Rise Biscuit Donuts franchise will be adding 30 units in Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina. The first store planning to open in early 2017. They may not be as well-known as Dunkin Donuts but they're rapidly growing.  The franchise has 100 stores under developments in nine states.

As the nation embarks on a healthier start to 2017, two smoothie concepts announced growth.  Tropical Smoothie Cafe will be growing in Florida with the opening of four new locations in the next several years. The goal for the area will be at least 50 cafes in the Tampa area. Juice It Up! Franchise in California also announced a new location in the Riverside area.

The restaurant brokers will continue to write about the franchise expansion deals and keep our readers posted on the growth as 2017 unfolds.

 Want to see the latest franchise for sale by We Sell Restaurants?  Check them out at this link. 

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