Burger King Worldwide has announced a new master franchise joint venture agreement which will see the brand expand in Central America. The deal with long standing franchisee Beboca Ltd which currently has 48 restaurants in Costa Rica and Panama, will create a new entity called BK Centro America. It will acquire the master franchise rights for the 178 restaurants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and will develop the brand in these countries.
Burger King, based in Miami, is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world and known as the home of ‘The Whopper’. The company has also announced that Jose Tomas, president of Burger King’s Latin America and the Caribbean business, will join the board of the joint venture, as will Jonathan Weisleder, its finance and business development director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The multi-country joint venture agreement is a first of its kind for the Burger King brand and the company will also provide operations, supply chain, procurement and marketing for franchisees in Central America and will have new development exclusivity in these markets. ‘Central America’s middle class continues to expand rapidly and this partnership will enhance our ability to grow aggressively and ensure we are the preferred choice among consumers in the region,’ said Tomas.
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‘I am thrilled to be part of this exciting new venture with Burger King Worldwide and I am confident these markets offer great potential for aggressive growth. The new company will expand the region by focusing on delivering exceptional guest service and great tasting food,’ said Rafael Belloso, president and chief executive officer of BK Centro America.
Burger King introduced joint ventures in South Africa, Russia and China in 2012 as well as a joint venture in Brazil. The company said these joint ventures are focused on increasing market share in key markets around the world.
Many restaurant chains have been moving away from owning their restaurants, so they can focus on managing their brands while collecting steady royalty fees. Burger King has said putting ownership of its restaurants into franchisees’ hands has encouraged franchise owners to remodel dated stores. Burger King has also been working to revive its menu and marketing strategy to expand beyond its typical customers who are men in their early 20s.