A U.S. burger chain known for its spicy television ads, big burgers and fresh-baked hamburger buns is set to debut in Saskatchewan.
Carl’s Jr. opens its first Saskatchewan franchise in Regina on Wednesday. It’s the first of five restaurants planned for the province.
Ernie and Robyn Kouros are the franchisees. Their experience in Regina includes The ‘K’ Family Kitchen. Robyn Kouros says they’re already planning for expansion.
“Right now we’re slated to do four more stores in the Saskatchewan market, in Regina and Saskatoon, and where we go from there remains to be seen. We do have exclusive franchise rights for Saskatchewan and have no plans at this point to stop the momentum.”
Kouros adds that beyond what makes Carl’s Jr. unique, there’s an appetite for more brand name restaurants in Saskatchewan.
“Regina and Saskatchewan love the brands, love a franchise coming in. It makes us feel like we’re part of the big boys but still hometown. Good enough to have everything that everybody else has, we’re capable of having it and there’s a demand for it.”
The locations haven’t been selected, and there’s no firm time frame beyond the next couple of years. But Kouros says it’s a meaningful investment in Saskatchewan by a major U.S. chain.
“It means a great deal for the province, having a U.S. brand come up here and invest in our province, invest in us and not shy away from two local people who made our way the old fashioned way, in our other restaurant businesses. They don’t just look at corporate dollars, they look at just small town people who are trying to make their way.”
Kouros added that brings employment for a number of people.
“Right now, we have brought in 50 to 60 jobs in this one location alone. We suspect (expansion will) bring numerous other jobs and that means a lot to us. I mean it’s a tough market out there in terms of employment. To know that we can help in our community, to have young people come and have their first job, we have some retired people coming in and working – just to contribute to the community and the economic growth of the province means a great deal to us.”
Carl’s Jr. has gained attention and notoriety in the U.S. for sexy commercials featuring scantily clad models and celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kate Upton.