Moe's Southwest Grill, the growing Mexican fast casual, signed a master franchise agreement to develop several locations in Guatemala and El Salvador.
Under the agreement, 10 Moe's restaurants will be developed in the neighboring Central American countries over eight years, the first of which is slated to open in 2014 in Guatemala City.
This deal marks the brand's entry into these Central American countries and highlights the international demand for Moe's Southwest Grill. The first Moe's in Central America opened in Costa Rica in 2012.
"Moe's is thrilled to expand our footprint in Central America so we can introduce our flavorful, customizable menu items made from high-quality ingredients with the people of Guatemala and El Salvador," says Mike Shattuck, president of FOCUS Brands International, which handles overseas expansion for Moe's Southwest Grill. "International consumer demand for Moe's remains high and we're eager to partner with qualified franchisees to grow our presence and penetrate untapped markets."
Moe's Southwest Grill has enjoyed strong growth domestically, where it recently opened its 500th location in New York City, as well as abroad with new market launches in Costa Rica and Russia in the past year. FOCUS Brands International also handles overseas expansion for Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky's, and Auntie Anne's Pretzels. The company expects to open more than 260 global units of all its franchise concepts during 2013. Key international target markets for Moe's development include Brazil, Egypt, India, and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.