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Pei Wei to expand to Mexico

Pei Wei to expand to Mexico

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. said Monday it has signed an agreement to expand its Pei Wei Asian Diner fast-casual concept to Mexico.

The company said the agreement with Mexico City-based Alsea, which is also developing P.F. Chang’s in Mexico, calls for opening three Pei Wei restaurants in the first 18 months of the agreement and 50 units over 10 years.

The first location, Pei Wei’s first outside the United States, is expected to open in Mexico City in the next few months.

“Alsea has already been very successful in bringing P.F. Chang’s to Mexico, and they are well-positioned to achieve the same success with Pei Wei’s fast-casual model,” Mike Welborn, executive vice president and president of global brand development for P.F. Chang’s, said in a statement.

Alsea, a publicly traded company, has developed a number of other U.S. brands in Latin America, including Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks.

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“We believe Pei Wei’s fast-casual format meets a growing consumer need and addresses current trends in the restaurant sector,” said Armando Torrado, Alsea’s director of casual dining.

Alsea operates eight P.F. Chang’s restaurants in Mexico under a 2009 agreement that calls for 30 total units. In 2011, Alsea also entered into an agreement to develop 17 P.F. Chang’s restaurants in Argentina, Chile and Colombia over the next 10 years.

As of July 3, P.F. Chang’s had 173 Pei Wei restaurants open in the United States.

The concept first opened in Phoenix, Ariz., in July 2000. The company said average investment is $1.5 million per restaurant.

In documents filed in July with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said “We expect that our planned future restaurants will require, on average, a total cash investment per restaurant of approximately $750,000 to $850,000 (net of estimated tenant incentives). Preopening expenses typically average approximately $140,000 to $160,000 per restaurant.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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