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The announcement was made by Kevin Blackwell, chairman and chief executive officer of Kahala, which operates Surf City Squeeze, Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill, Ranch *1 Grilled Chicken, Frullati Cafe & Bakery, TacoTime, Rollerz and Great Steak & Potato restaurants throughout North America and in Puerto Rico, Japan, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Greece, Thailand, and Taiwan.
"We are extremely excited to be working with Chris Liberiou in bringing all of Kahala's restaurant concepts to Australia," Blackwell says. Kahala has been averaging one new store opening every day in the United States, and we are eager to continue the rapid growth of our brands overseas. "Based on our research—and Mr. Liberiou's expertise—we are very confident that our concepts will be well received by the Australian dining public. We believe that during the next 10 years, Australia can become Kahala's largest market outside of the United States," Blackwell says.
Under terms of the agreement, Liberiou—whose family has been in the restaurant business for over 50 years—will identify Australian franchise operators who will build and operate the new restaurants. Immediate plans call for initial franchise marketing efforts to begin immediately in Sydney and other major markets in Australia.
Liberiou says he is confident that all seven of Kahala's restaurant concepts will resonate in his native land.
"Since carefully studying Kahala's business and food models, I have been very impressed with the uniqueness of the seven concepts that provides families with great food at an affordable price," Liberiou says. "Australians love American food and are looking for new and interesting ways to dine, which bodes well for the large variety of concepts that we will introduce to the market."
Blackwell says Kahala "has the experience and expertise to launch our various concepts in foreign countries, but we will also rely heavily on Mr. Liberiou's familiarity with the Australia audience. He thoroughly understands and agrees with our corporate mission of providing great food and great value for our patrons. We are excited about this new and innovative partnership."
Liberiou indicated he will actively seek prospective franchise owners throughout the country who would "like to get in on the ground floor with a company that has unsurpassed growth opportunities. A key component to our growth will be our desire to enter into multi-store agreements."