GF Issue 54

15 ON THE BORDER MEXICAN GRILL Setting its sights on the Far East The world’s largest Tex-Mex casual dining brand, with more than 130 locations across the U.S. and internationally, is growing its global footprint even further in South Korea and Vietnam. The brand recently signed a master franchise agreement with its operating partners in South Korea, JRW, to develop an additional 16 locations in South Korea and 10 locations in Vietnam. JRW already owns and operates 14 locations in South Korea. VP of Franchise Brian Shaughnessy stated: “We are excited about the success of our domestic and international franchise partners, including opening two new restaurants in 2023 and building an impressive growth pipeline. We have supported franchisees in converting second generation restaurants and building non- traditional restaurants in hotels, airports, and smaller locations. Numerous states are open for domestic franchise expansion, and internationally we expect to continue our franchise growth in Southeast Asia and strategically add franchise partners in India and Australia.” Canadian footprint, further solidifying its place as a leader in snacking across the globe. “We are excited to addWetzel’s Pretzels to the portfolio of MTY Brands to develop in Canada,” said David Worts, EVP of development for MTY Canada. “We have been able to leverage the synergies of the Wetzel’s brand with our experience and expertise in the Canadian market. This is an example of how the acquisition of Wetzel’s last December is already creating additional value for Wetzel’s and MTY.” “In 2024, our primary focus is on significantly expanding our presence in Canada and exploring further growth opportunities throughout the U.S. as well,” added Jon Fischer, head of development at Wetzel’s Pretzels. “Our strategic approach involves assessing each market to ensure that it aligns with our brand’s vision. In addition to Canada, we are actively evaluating the potential of expansion into other international markets that showcase a strong affinity for our signature pretzels.” 16 ANGRY CRAB SHACK Investing in people and tech Founded by Ron Lou, Angry Crab Shack is a casual seafood restaurant headquartered in Arizona with five corporate locations, 16 franchise locations and franchise agreements signed for several U.S. states as well as the U.K. But ambitions stretch further than this. The franchisor aims to have 100 locations open and operating in the next five years – a target made easier by CrabLab™, a proprietory technology platform with programs designed to provide franchise partners and employees with everything they need to be successful, including video training modules, standard operating procedures (SOPs), recipes, human resources and marketing materials. Executives have already seen an uptick in employee inquiries about their newly developed Certified Trainer program and a Lead Training course, while 32 hourly staff members have started the program that puts them on the management track, taking pressure off location managers to recruit and engage employees to advance within the company. “CrabLab is the primary resource for Franchise Partners to obtain information about new launches, branding, marketing, HR, restaurant staff training and operational programs,” stated president Andy Diamond.“Regarding expansions, Angry Crab Shack still anticipates reaching its goal of 100 locations by the end of the decade or sooner. This includes expansion throughout the U.S. and internationally in the U.K., the G.C.C. and Singapore. GLOBAL FRANCHISE.COM 25