INTERNATIONAL. US-based Sbarro, the world's leading quick service Italian restaurant company, has announced an international development agreement with Wataniya Restaurants to open more than 50 new Sbarro restaurants during the next ten years. The franchises will be located in Middle East countries that are experiencing rapid growth and development: Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait. Most of the restaurants will be opened in new shopping malls and airports within large cities, with plans to open additional restaurants in smaller cities during the later stages of expansion.
During the past year, Sbarro has announced plans to open nearly 200 restaurants throughout the world including India, Mexico, Egypt, Central America, Bahamas and Romania. Currently, Sbarro has close to 1,000 restaurants in 34 countries, including the UK, Canada, Russia, Puerto Rico and Israel.
"Over the past year, we've taken great strides in extending Sbarro's global reach and our international franchise team has secured development agreements with some of the world's leading restaurateurs. We're proud to work alongside Wataniya, an expertly managed company with a tremendous vision and strategy for growing the Sbarro brand in the Middle East," said Peter Beaudrault, President and CEO of Sbarro.
"Through a strategy that focuses on menu flexibility and cultural competency, we've built strong brand acceptance for Sbarro and look forward to continuing our expansion both in the Middle East and across the globe."
As part of the agreement with Wataniya Restaurants, Sbarro will open ten franchises by the end of 2009 with 40 more anticipated openings over the remaining eight years. While Sbarro menus in the Middle East will mirror the company's 200-item menu in the United States, adjustments will be made to suit the cultural and religious needs and preferences of a primarily Muslim consumer base.
Note: Wataniya Restaurants is a newly-established company in Qatar chartered to obtain franchise rights and operate renowned, high quality branded restaurants in Qatar, along with obtaining master distribution and licensing rights for the broader Middle East. The company's vision is to be the highest quality food service and hospitality provider in the region.
Over the past five decades, Sbarro has grown rapidly to total more than 1,000 locations across 30 countries. Sbarro's deep Italian roots date back three generations to Naples, Italy and later Brooklyn, New York. The company offers an extensive menu of more than 200 items based on authentic Southern Italian recipes passed down through the Sbarro family. Sbarro restaurants can be found in shopping centres, airports, universities, rest stops, hotels, stadiums and hospitals throughout the world. For five out of the past six years, Sbarro has been ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as the number one quick service Italian restaurant. Other brands owned by the company include: Mama Sbarro and Carmela's of Brooklyn. Sbarro is in a joint venture under the name Boulder Creek Ventures, operating steakhouses including Boulder Creek Steakhouse, Rothmann's Steakhouse, Sagamore Steakhouse, Blackstone Steakhouse and Burton & Doyle. Sbarro has announced its intentions to sell to MidOcean Partners, a premiere private equity firm with offices in New York and London.
See also: www.sbarro.com