Posted on Apr 15, 2011
Franchise Fridays for April 15, 2011: Top Franchise and Small Business News of the Week
Applebee's announced this week that it will change the way it serves alcohol after a toddler was mistakenly given a margarita cocktail instead of apple juice. The toddler had a blood alcohol level of .10 (driving at .08 level is illegal). The Applebee’s franchise plans to implement a new beverage-pouring policy to stop incidents like this from happening as this is not the first time a child was served alcohol. A 5 year-old was given a long island iced tea instead of apple juice in 2007, and a two year-old was given a margarita in 2006.
Applebee’s said that it will switch to pouring apple juice from single-serve containers served at the table and store non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages in completely separate and identified containers.
The toddler’s parents are planning to sue the franchise.
Read more about Applebee's alcohol scandal.
Argentina-based Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc, which operates 1,755 McDonald’s restaurants in 19 countries and is McDonald’s biggest franchisee (accounting for 5% of money spent at McDonald’s globally), will go public this week with a $1 billion IPO. Arcos Dorados is planning to use the money to open and remodel restaurants and spend on things required by the Golden Arches. It is expected that half of the IPO will go to investment groups selling shares and $164 million will go to Arcos Dorados after paying fees and expenses.
Shares are expected to price Wednesday night on the NYSE under the ticker ARCO.
Read more about Arcos Dorados’ IPO.
This Tuesday, the Carl’s Jr. franchise opened its first location in Istanbul, Turkey. Over the next 6 years, it is expected that 25 more will open all across Turkey. Carl’s Jr’s parent company, CKE Restaurants Inc, believes that the “Turkish market has tremendous potential for our brand given the strength of its economy, the youthful population base and an appreciation for premium-quality burgers.”
Expansion into Turkey is part of a bigger plan to open locations in a region known as CIVETS, which includes Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.
Read more about Carl’s Jr. in Turkey.
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced this week its new Asian restaurant called ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, which will open this summer in Washington D.C. ShopHouse will feature food from Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and will feature “bold and complex flavors” with fresh meats, veggies, spices and herbs.
ShopHouse, like Chipotle, will have customers in a line to customize their meal. A Chipotle spokesman also said that pricing would be similar to Chipotle's.
Read more about ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen.
The Middle East franchise market is valued at $30 billion with 27% annual growth which will be a statistic that is highlighted at the Franchise UAE 2011 trade show. This massive growth rate is attributed to a large population of multi-ethnic people with a high level of disposable income. According to Gaurav Marya, Managing Director of the Franchise Middle East and organizer of the trade show "Franchise UAE 2011 will be an interesting platform for Indian and international franchise brands looking to make forays into the Middle East without risk and significant capital investment."
Read more about the franchise industry in the ME and the event.
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