Everything is ready for the entrance to South America. Ecuador was chosen as the first country to reach the brand, founded in 1961. The plan contemplates opening 15 stores in Guayaquil, Quito and other cities in Ecuador, and generating around 300 direct and indirect jobs. The first store will open its doors in August in the Main Port.
Ecuador will be the first country in South America where the Wienerschnitzel hot dog chain arrives. This Californian brand founded in 1961 set its eyes on Ecuador and plans to open 15 stores, under the franchise model, in the country; the first will open its doors next August in Guayaquil.
Andrés Sotomayor, general manager of Franchise Group and Wienerschnitzel franchisee in Ecuador, explains the reasons why the American brand is committed to the country. “We see good economic indicators, sustained growth, controlled inflation and a dollarized economy. We believe that we are going to have a lot of visibility for the brand and Ecuador could become a hub to start the expansion in the region”.
Douglas Koegeboehn, director of marketing for Wienerschnitzel in the US, adds that the company is happy to take this step in the region. “We believe that we can grow a lot in Latin America. We want to develop our systems first in Ecuador and then in South America.”
Wienerschnitzel sells 120 million hot dogs each year in the US In Ecuador, the goal is to sell 12,000 units per month per store, according to Sotomayor and Koegeboehn. In dollars, the sales of each store would be US$ 100,000 per month, on average.
To expand the brand throughout Ecuador, an investment of US$ 15 million is expected in the next five years, Sotomayor details. “We will start in Guayaquil with four stores. Then we will go to Quito and then to other cities. The first location will be in August of this year, at this time we are processing the permits, training the staff, executing the marketing plan and other aspects”.
The stores of the chain have several formats. The first, for example, will be in a location on the street, in an area with high pedestrian traffic. Then they will open in shopping centers, others with self-service or with spaces to eat in the same place, they will also be offered at gas stations. “There will be about ten types of premises,” says Koegeboehn.
The brand specializes in hot dogs, but also offers ice cream and chili cheese fries. Koegeboehn explains that one of the novelties in Ecuador will be a fried sausage with seasonings. “That’s why we are going to explain our recipes and flavors to consumers at the stores.”
How do you view the issue of insecurity in Guayaquil and the political crisis in Ecuador? Sotomayor responds: “These are important factors to take into account. But we hope that with the brand and a good product people have a new alternative, a breather. Regarding the political situation, South America navigates with political ups and downs that are not always controlled, but the brand is solid and we trust to grow here”.