March 2022 marks the 2-year anniversary of Covid-19 shutdowns. Although the Omicron variant seems generally to be receding (if unevenly), the past couple of years have shown that you never know for sure.For the most part, businesses around the world have learned to adapt. Many are beginning to view the pandemic as endemic, much like the flu, and have learned to carry on amidst ever-changing restrictions. Here are 9 companies carrying on.
9Round has finalized plans for continued development across Asia with two master franchise agreements, one in Indonesia and one in Vietnam. The agreements call for the master franchisees to open 25 locations in Indonesia and 24 in Vietnam, both over the next 7 years. Idham Switriadji, Indonesia’s master franchisee, opened the country’s first location in Jakarta in January. Hyun Soo Lee, Vietnam’s master, was set to open the country’s first location in Ho Chi Minh City this month.
Arby’s has signed a multi-unit license agreement with Grupo Penagos Meneses for several states in southeast Mexico. The first unit is slated to open in the second half of 2022. “Respected multi-unit restaurant operators with a deep knowledge of the local market, the Penagos family are ideal franchisees for the Arby’s brand as we look to drive growth throughout the region in the coming years,” said Pancho Gonzalez Rodriguez, Vice President of Americas for Inspire Brands.
Chicken Cottage has signed a franchising partnership agreement with Express Kitchen Ltd., a subsidiary of AAH Limited, the majority shareholder of Hass Petroleum Group, which operates more than 150 petrol stations across 10 countries in Africa. The deal will introduce a fusion menu of halal grilled and fried chicken to Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The first four restaurants are scheduled to launch in 2022, with the first to open in Nairobi in April.
Dave’s Hot Chicken has signed a franchise agreement with Walid Hajj for 31 locations in the Arabian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. All 31 are anticipated to open within the next 8 years. This agreement is the latest round of international expansion for the Los Angeles-based brand, following a deal signed in 2020 for 30 stores throughout Canada.
Keller Williams has awarded a new master franchise in Sint Maarten. KW Sint Maarten, the company’s sixth master franchise in the Caribbean, is led by Maayke de Haan, a real estate veteran and business leader on the island, said William E. Soteroff, president of Keller Williams Worldwide. “We currently have more than 1,000 agents across the Caribbean regions of Aruba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Turks & Caicos,” he added.
Laser Clinics, founded in Australia in 2008, has opened its first Canadian aesthetic treatment clinic, with more on the way, according to Group Chief Executive Officer John Veitch. Laser Clinics has more than 180 clinics across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and franchise partner JRW, Inc., have committed to expanding the brand’s franchise presence in Southeast Asia, including opening its 13th restaurant in South Korea. The 3,400-s.f. restaurant, which opened in November 2021, brings the brand’s presence in South Korea to 17 total franchised locations, including four ghost kitchens.
School of Rock has announced a second location opening in Mexico City in late fall 2022. Matias Puga Hamilton, the brand’s Latin American master franchisee, is set to open 20 locations over the next 10 years. The brand currently has two locations in Mexico, one in Mexico City and one in Monterrey. Worldwide, there are 301 School of Rock locations operating in 13 countries.
Twin Peaks Restaurant has opened a new restaurant in south Mexico City, just a few miles east of the Estadio Azteca. The new 5,000-square-foot lodge, which opened on Jan. 30, is the brand’s third location in a 32-store agreement with its Mexico operators Operadora 2 Montes. “The south Mexico City area is the mecca of sports in the country and home to the Estadio Azteca, which has hosted everything from the Olympics to huge soccer games to NFL games,” noted Twin Peaks CEO Joe Hummel.