| Staff Reporter, Australia

Learn why Oporto and Eagle Boys are upbeat on expansion

Quick service restaurants agree there is plenty of room for expansion in the industry and are backing their optimism by increasing business activity elsewhere.

They're doing so in other areas in the country and even in the international market where a few are now making serious efforts to establish their presence.

“Absolutely,” says Eagle Boys Pizza CEO Todd Clayton. “We have a number of markets we are not at capacity yet here in Australia, including Western Australia, South Australia, Sydney and Melbourne.”

Clayton said their 2010 expansion strategy will see Eagle Boys grow its store numbers by more than 17% this year with half of the 50 new stores to be concentrated in Sydney and Adelaide.

Clayton thinks there is no shortage of skilled franchisees to help them spearhead expansion.

“We recently calculated an 80% jump in enquiries from potential franchisees and for the first three months of this year received 808 individual inquiries,” he says.

The CEO said they are yet to take a slice of the global pizza market, but the opportunity to expand overseas is certainly on their radar.

Souvlakihut founder Bill Fotiadis agrees.

“Definitely, we’ve grown to 36 stores in just five years and have plans to reach 50 stores by the end of 2010 and 120 by 2014. We’ve got the Eastern Seaboard covered and are looking into Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory as we speak.”

It’s sky’s the limit for Healthy Habits says its founder and managing director Katherine Sampson.

“We only have 34 stores. With a name that “says it all” and 3 models (food court, kiosk and café) the sky really is the limit. We have opened in shopping centres, airports, business districts and are looking forward to opening at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Star City Casino in Sydney and Virgin Blue Headquarters in Brisbane.”
“These new locations should open up further opportunities for us,” Sampson says.

For Chooks there is always scope for expansion and believes it’s a slow death for a company not expanding.

“Most expansion is held back by lack of vision from government and the incentive programmes to create jobs. In our case we could put up another 300 stores and we would still not have looked outside of Australia, says founder Steve Hansen.

Oporto appears to be one of the most aggressive in terms of expansion both within the country and overseas.

“We are expanding all over Australia, especially on the east coast, and internationally, we have either stores on the ground or reach an agreement with excellent partners in the UK, USA and China.” CEO Jeff Fisher says.

Mad Mex, on the other hand, says it finds the market crowded but admits there is still a huge opportunity for growth and expansion within their category.

Bucking Bull’s founder Dean Vella says he believes with continued substitution of home cooked meals for QSR offerings, the QSR industry has considerable opportunity for expansion, particularly where the product quality matches or exceeds home cooked meals.

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