CKE, Yum, Chipotle Still Plan to Expand

CKE, owner of Hardee's and Carl's Jr. hamburger chains, will grow in Texas while others head abroad.
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By Nancy Luna of the Orange County Register.

The parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants announced plans today to expand the fast-food franchise to Texas as Lone Star state consumers have shown a love for the chain's charbroiled burgers.

Given the tough times the restaurant industry is facing, the expansion by

CKE Restaurants

(CKR)

is significant. The company has 16 Carl's Jr. restaurants in Texas. It plans to open at least 121 more in the following regions: Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Tyler/Longview and Beaumont.

Expansion will occur over the next 10 years via a franchise agreement with RWJP Star Enterprises. CKE said it plans to "aggressively pursue both franchise and company owned development in Texas where its products are very well received and the business environment is favorable."

The Texas expansion is CKE's latest growth push. For fiscal 2009, CKE has made 18 franchise agreements that call for the development of 375 Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants in the United States and abroad, including China (Carl's Jr.), Pakistan (Hardee's) and Kazakhstan (Hardee's).

Over the next five years, CKE said it will add more than 800 new restaurants worldwide.

As domestic restaurant operations continue to suffer, fast-food chains such as

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

and

Burger King

(BKC)

are relying on overseas expansion to boost revenue.

Yum Brands

(YUM) - Get Report

, parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, is also seeing better results from its overseas restaurants. As a result, Yum plans to expand Irvine-based Taco Bell to other countries, including Mexico and India.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

(CMG) - Get Report

also announced plans today to open restaurants in Europe. The fresh-Mex chain said is currently scouting locations in London.

Nancy Luna blogs about fast food as the Fast Food Maven.