Schlotzsky’s, home of The Original round toasted sandwich and famous Fresh-from-Scratch buns, recently signed a franchise agreement for 55 restaurants throughout seven of the former Soviet countries, including Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.
The master franchise agreement was awarded to Moscow-based entrepreneur Mehmet Akpinar, who plans to open the first restaurant in Moscow. The remaining locations are expected to open over the next 10 years.
“This is a time-tested brand that has the ability to bring people together, from all walks, in their love for Schlotzsky’s sandwiches,” says Akpinar, who currently owns Pegas Touristik, a large tour operator which services Moscow and Antalya, as well as the newly formed Golden International Management Services Ltd. “After looking at the international success of Focus Brands’ restaurants and the available market share for a restaurant like Schlotzsky’s in these countries, it seemed like a natural fit for us. I’m thrilled to open the first location.”
Mike Shattuck, president of Focus Brands International, said this was one of the more significant deals the company has ever signed.
“This is a huge deal for us – we love expanding the Schlotzsky’s brand with entrepreneurs like Mehmet, who understand the complexities, challenges, and rewards of operating a company within their respective country,” Shattuck says.
As with domestic growth, further international expansion remains a focal point for Schlotzsky’s in 2013 and beyond. Company plans call for over 30 locations in the next five years.
International Schlotzsky’s franchise locations can currently be found in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and South Africa.
Schlotzsky’s offers more than 15 different sandwiches on its famous unique round freshly-baked buns, as well as gourmet pizzas made with Fresh-from-Scratch crusts, freshly made-to-order tossed salads, and a variety of soups.