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Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

Taco Bell Operator Plans 50 in Australia

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Collins Foods Ltd. will open 50 Taco Bell locations in three years in three states in Australia.

Irvine-based Taco Bell is the largest restaurant chain based in Orange County with annual sales of about $10 billion. It has about 7,000 locations, about 350 of them overseas; it wants 9,000 units including 1,000 overseas by 2022 as it aims for $15 billion in sales.

It’s owned by Yum Brands in Louisville, which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut. Yum traded recently at a $28 billion market cap. Taco Bell has been choosing larger, well-funded and experienced operators overseas to push expansion.

Queensland-based Collins is a publicly traded—$333 million (USD)—restaurant operator; it opened one Taco Bell in 2017 and plans three more by year-end. The new development deal pledges 50 more locations between 2019 and 2022.

“We have seen tremendous enthusiasm for the Taco bell brand,” said Chief Executive Graham Maxwell.

The restaurants will be in Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia, a local news report said.

Collins’ other food outlets include KFC and Sizzler. An investor presentation said it had 229 restaurants at the end of last year, with revenue of $448 million and adjusted earnings of $57 million. It expects to have 271 restaurants at the end of this year, with revenue of $546 million and adjusted earnings of $67 million.

The Business Journal reported in August on the fast food operator’s international expansion plans and in July and April on new and possible deals with franchisees and area developers, including Collins Foods, in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Spain, among other countries.

President of International Liz Williams leads its overseas expansion; Julie Felss Masino is Taco Bell’s president of North America operations.

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