RBI Announces $1B Acquisition

Restaurant Brands Int’l. is setting the table for widespread modernization efforts at one of its four QSR brands.

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Approximately 600 Burger King restaurants are set to be remodeled in the next five years.

On Jan. 16, Restaurant Brands Int’l. announced its acquisition of Carrols Restaurant Group—the largest Burger King franchisee in the U.S.

A franchisee since 1976, Carrols operates 1,022 Burger King restaurants in 23 states, and generated approximately $1.8 billion of system sales during the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, 2023. Carrols also debuted the first Sizzle prototype last year, and had announced intentions to remodel about 45 units in 2024. Now, under RBI, those plans have grown to entail more widespread modernization.

“Carrols has demonstrated strong and improving restaurant operations over the years,” says Tom Curtis, president of Burger King U.S. and Canada, in the press release. “This acquisition is an exciting accelerator to our Reclaim the Flame plan that is focused on relentlessly pursuing a better experience for our guests. We are going to rapidly remodel these restaurants over the next five years or so and put them back into the hands of motivated, local franchisees to create amazing experiences for our guests.”

Burger King says it expects to significantly accelerate Carrols’ current rate of remodels to bring the acquired portfolio to modern image over the next five years. To accomplish this, the team plans to invest approximately $500 million of capital, funded by Carrols’ operating cash flow, to remodel approximately 600 acquired restaurants that are not currently modernized.

Most of the restaurants will then be refranchised to new or existing smaller franchise operators who live in local communities; Burger King expects to accomplish this in five to seven years.

Burger King will maintain a portfolio of a couple hundred restaurants for strategic innovation, training and operator development purposes, notes the release.

This latest transaction follows a $400 million investment announced in 2022 to drive “high-quality remodels, improve operations, enhance marketing and support ongoing technology and digital priorities.”

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