Fuddruckers Opens 1st Location in South Africa

Casual-dining burger chain debuts in Santiago, Chile

Fuddruckers opened its first restaurant in South America this week, in Santiago, Chile.

Houston-based parent Luby’s Inc., which also owns Cheeseburger in Paradise and the Luby’s cafeteria brand, said Tuesday that the 3,500-square-foot Fuddruckers unit was opened by new Chilean franchisee SRTC, which has agreed to open nine more locations.

“We are excited to continue the global growth of the Fuddruckers brand through partnerships with homegrown operators like SRTC, who have established themselves as leaders in the field,” Luby’s chief operating officer Peter Tropoli said in statement.

Fuddruckers has development agreements elsewhere in Latin America, including southern Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, the company has said.

Chile-based SRTC also operates Ruby Tuesday’s units, which it first franchised in 1999. The company has six brands and 700 employees.

The Chilean franchisee located its first Fuddruckers, with 140 seats, in the upscale Las Condes area of Santiago. Fuddruckers said the menu includes classic burgers, as well as specialty offerings such as an Avocado Cheese Burger and Cheese Arugula Burger.

Luby’s has cobranded with Fuddruckers in the U.S. at least five locations. The combined units outperform sales tallied at the standalone brands, Luby’s chief financial officer K. Scott Gray said in a July earnings call with analysts.

The new cobranded restaurants averaged $92,000 in weekly sales during the third quarter, compared with the weekly averages of $51,000 at Luby’s and $32,000 at Fuddruckers units.

On Nov. 10, Luby’s reported a loss of $1.4 million, or 5 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a $429,000 profit, or 2 cents per share, the previous year. Revenue rose slightly, to $123.6 million, from $123.3 million the previous year.

Same-store sales rose 0.4 percent at Luby’s Cafeterias in the fourth quarter and fell 4.6 percent at Fuddruckers, the company reported. For the full year, same-store sales increased 1.4 percent at the cafeterias and decreased 3.5 percent at Fuddruckers.

Luby’s owns and operates 94 cafeterias, 71 Fuddruckers restaurants, eight Cheeseburger in Paradise units and one Bob Luby’s Seafood Grill. The company franchises an additional 110 Fuddruckers locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Italy and the Dominican Republic.

Luby’s Culinary Services division provides foodservice management to 25 healthcare, higher education and corporate dining locations.

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