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Pollo Tropical sets sights on Latin America, Canada

Pollo Tropical said it plans to expand its franchise development in Latin American and to Canada, joining a growing number of restaurant companies seeking growth offshore.

Several chains have announced plans this year to expand or make their first forays abroad, such as Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands in the Middle East; Buffalo Wild Wings in Canada; Chipotle in the United Kingdom; and Jamba Juice in South Korea and Canada.

Miami-based Pollo Tropical recently opened franchised locations in the Bahamas, Honduras and Trinidad, and said it has entered into development agreements for Panama and the Netherlands Antilles.

Canada also has become a recent target for multi-unit development, said Marc Mushkin, Pollo Tropical’s senior vice president of international development. He noted that Canadians rank No. 1 among foreign tourists who visit Miami and South Florida and many have second homes in the area.

Marc Mushkin, Pollo Tropical’s senior vice president of international development, said Canada also is considered a high-priority franchising target for the company — in part because the country ranked No. 1 in foreign tourists who visit Miami.

Earlier this week, parent company Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. reported that same-store sales rose 8.8 percent at Pollo Tropical, contributing to an 8.1-percent increase in revenue at the company. Carrols also owns the Taco Cabana chain and is one of Burger King's largest franchisees.

The first Pollo Tropical opened in 1988 in Miami, and the chain now has U.S. locations in Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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