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September 3, 2009

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Carl's Jr pitches value and taste

UNITED States burger brand Carl's Jr entered the Chinese market by opening its first store in Shanghai yesterday, fueling the already competitive market along with McDonald's and Burger King.
The new restaurant, located in the Raffles City Mall in the downtown area, is the first of more than 100 Carl's Jr restaurants to be developed over the next eight years in China, according to Ned Lyerly, senior vice president of global franchise development of Carl Karcher Enterprises Inc, at a press conference in the city yesterday.
Carl's Jr, a late entrant to the market, will face tough competition from the world's biggest fast food chain McDonald's, which runs more than 1,000 restaurants in China. Burger King, the world's second-largest burger chain, also announced plans to open between 250 and 300 outlets in China by 2013.
But Carl's Jr is unfazed by the competition it faces.
"Our research in big cities signaled that consumers have a strong desire for something different, something more sophisticated in terms of taste, restaurant experience and value," Lyerly said, "We want to be both profitable and to open more stores in China."
Established over 65 years ago in the West Coast of the United States, Carl's Jr's business in China would be managed by a master franchisee, Shanghai Star Food F&B Management Co, a venture between Singapore's BreadTalk Group and Aspac F&B Group.
Carl's Jr now operates more than 1,200 restaurants worldwide, including in Mexico and Singapore.
First-half sales in Shanghai's catering industry grew 15.5 percent to 37.2 billion yuan (US$5.45 billion).


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