Beef 'O' Brady's Makes First International Push

Family sports pub operator Beef 'O' Brady's has inked its first international franchise agreement to open restaurants in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

The Tampa, Fla.-based casual-dining chain signed the deal with master licensee Thimar Investment, a publicly traded company based in Saudi Arabia.

Thimar said it plans to introduce its first Beef 'O' Brady's in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, by midsummer. The firm also has plans to open additional units across Saudi Arabia by 2013.

Beef 'O' Brady's, which specializes in Buffalo-style chicken wings, said it intends to pursue additional international development, and is looking for area developers and master franchise partners in such countries as Greece, Dubai, Canada and Mexico.

In 2011, Beef 'O' Brady's opened more than 10 locations in the United States and signed deals with franchisees to open 25 more. The chain currently operates about 213 restaurants in 22 states.

Talal Ali Abu Skaitah, general manager of Thimar investment, said in a statement, "We're confident that Beef's will be well-received because of the brand's delicious food, family-oriented atmosphere, speed of service and great value."

"The timing is ideal to build on our homegrown success and expand in key international markets throughout the world," said James Walker, Beef 'O' Brady's chief development officer. "We've heard the demand for our family-oriented concept in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we're not ignoring it."

The company acknowledged its plans to accelerate expansion beyond its current 22 states late last year when it named Gene Savage director of franchise sales and development.

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