Wahlburgers, the Boston-based restaurant company founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Chef Paul Wahlberg, is expanding its international footprint with a franchise partnership that will span 20 locations across Australia and New Zealand. The Mustaca family, led by United Cinema’s Chairman and Founder, Roy Mustaca, will own and operate each of the venues opening in the two countries. Current owners of Australia’s largest independent family-owned cinema chain, the Mustaca family will launch 15 new venues in Australia and an additional five in New Zealand over the next 5 years. Plans for the first Wahlburgers franchise location in Australia are underway for a spring 2021 opening.

“Our family is very excited to launch the first of many new restaurants in Australia and New Zealand in partnership with the Mustacas, to bring the Wahlburgers dining experience packed with food, family, and fun to locals and visitors alike,” says Chef Paul Wahlberg.

“Over the course of my career I’ve had the pleasure of filming in Australia and New Zealand and am grateful for the opportunity to now share my family’s delicious recipes with the people of these great two countries,” says Mark Wahlberg. “With 49 Wahlburgers locations across the USA, two in Toronto Canada and one on the American Ramstein Air Base in Germany, this expansion to Australia and New Zealand is a really exciting step in continuing to build this brand around the world.”

Following a successful career as an opera singer, Italian-born Rocco “Roy” Mustaca started United Cinemas in 1987. Over the last 30+ years, the chain has grown to over 67 screens across Australia, New Zealand and China. In 2018, the Mustaca family saw the need to diversify the group’s portfolio from cinema exhibition, large retail and residential property holdings to more holistic experiences within the food, beverage, and entertainment sectors.

The Mustaca family has assembled an experienced management team to help launch the Wahlburgers brand in Australia and New Zealand, including United’s current CFO and COO Ivan Maras, capitalizing on his previous experience with managing and expanding restaurant chains such as Krispy Kreme, Burger King and Outback Steakhouse in Australia and Europe. Now, the Mustaca family is ready to bring the Wahlburgers experience to the people of Australia and New Zealand.

CEO of United Cinemas, Sam Mustaca says, “We are thrilled to bring Wahlburgers to guests here in Australia and New Zealand. We had been following the concept for years and with its natural ties to the entertainment industry, bringing Wahlburgers into the experience at United Cinemas just seemed like a perfect fit. The first Wahlburgers will be in Sydney’s CBD and we plan to roll out more as stand-alone restaurants as well as in some of our United Cinema locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and New Zealand. With really great food, beers, and a fun atmosphere, we think it’s going to be a big hit.” 

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Wahlburgers