American burger joint Carl's Jr opens on NSW Central Coast

American burger joint Carl's Jr opens on NSW Central Coast
American burger joint Carl's Jr opens on NSW Central Coast

The American burger franchise Carl's Jr has opened it's first Australian store on the NSW Central Coast.

The controversial burger chain, known for for their raunchy TV ads, has huge expansion plans for Australia, targeting 300 restaurant sites in the next 10 to 15 years.

Carls Jr, which already has food joints in 30 countries is positioned next to McDonald's in the Bateau Bay area.

Carl Jr's created its own publicity stunt - offering a year's supply of free burgers to the first 50 people through the door of their grand opening, with a burger fan lining up since Sunday night for his share.

Carl's Jr are already advertising the opportunity to potential franchises as they look to continue their expansion.

The Bateau Bay store's franchisee Lindsey Brennan owns 18 liquor stores across the region and has a licence for 10 new Carl's Jr restaurants across the central and northern New South Wales coasts.

The Carl's Jr TV ads have caused a stir amongst onlookers, with Paris Hilton and Kate Upton having worn next to nothing on the US advertisements.

One of the most recent clips featured model Charlotte McKinney was banned from the 2015 Superbowl.

They haven't looked to clean up the promotion in Australia either.

The Carl's Jr Australia ad was reported to the Advertising Standards Board after being aired on Channel 10 after the Big Bash League during December and January with local model Gemie Howe.

The advertisement will be reviewed at the next ASB board meeting.

The 300 planned restaurants will take a sizeable chunk of the burger monopoly across Australia.

Australia has been a highly successful franchise step for burger joints, with McDonalds opening their first restaurant in Yangoona in 1971.

They now have 900 stores across Australia.

Hungry Jacks have 390 and the supposed healthier burger choice Grill'd has 122 locations, however founder Simon Moore targeted another 200 across Australia in 2014.

Among new entrants to the market are​ Mary's, Chur Burger Express, Burger Project, Burger Edge, Burger Shed, Ribs & Burgers, Burger Bro? and Melbourne's Brother Burgers.

Director of retail listing at Frank Knight Alex Alamsyah recently told Fairfax Media it is unlikely to see Carl's on pricey prime streets in Sydney's CBD.

"Global burger chains like Carl's Jr, and Johnny Rockets from America and MOS burger from Japan are looking at prime streets in Sydney's CBD, but appear reluctant to make a move, as rental in prime George Street could hit $5000 per sqm per annum."

Carolyn Cummins of the Sydney Morning Herald noted that McDonalds is paying roughly $1.25 million a year for their 250 sqm spot in central Sydney and Hungry Jacks's is paying $1.65 million a year for the whole building at 640 George Street. 

Franchisee Lindsey will hope Carl's Jr doesn't follow in the footsteps of Urban Burger. Two of their three outlets were sold off in Melbourne's Balaclava and Middle Park in 2014. 

Ned Lyerly, Carl's Jr president of international doesn't have that concern.

"We've done extensive research ourselves," said Lyerly.

"It's a $16 billion market today and will continue to grow, so I think the market itself is large enough to sustain that sort of operation"

"We compete favourably with all [quick service restaurants]... and believe with the right partners, that those numbers are meetable."

Chief executive Andy Puzder told The Australian Financial Review in 2013 that their success in New Zealand energised the interest in Australia and they want to take advantage of that.

They already have eight shops in New Zealand and plan to open another 50.


Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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