US burger giant eyeing off Bundy
A POPULAR American burger giant could open not one but two fast-food outlets in Bundaberg to rival McDonald's and Hungry Jack's as it plans its swift incursion into regional Queensland.
Carl's Jr, which has stores across the world, including one at the Brisbane Airport food court, has earmarked Bundaberg and the Wide Bay region as potential sites in the future.
The Queensland franchisee for Carl's Jr, whose logo is a smiling star, is held by The Bansal Group.
Bansal Group has rapid expansion plans forecast, anticipating 10 new stores within 12 months with the first to open at Redbank Plains in December followed by West Ipswich next year.
The group hopes to open 20 new restaurants across Queensland.
Bansal Group general manager Shawn Kerr told the NewsMail the group wants to introduce the Californian-influenced restaurant to the Bundaberg region and thinks burger lovers would lap it up.
Mr Kerr said its main point of difference with fast-food chains McDonald's and Hungry Jack's was it sold "big, thick. juicy American-style hamburgers” and was "unashamed of it”.
"I think Bundaberg could facilitate two stores,” he said.
"We don't want to put a store and see it fail.
"We have to have the right people in place and the right strategy.”
Carl's Jr has a California-influenced menu with juicy 100% Angus "thick burgers”, hand-breaded chicken tenders, hand-scooped ice cream shakes, breakfast sandwiches, coffee and desserts.
It also has partial table service and drive-through at many of its stores.
Mr Kerr said the first regional areas to get a taste would likely be Townsville and Toowoomba in 2019 and Bundaberg could have a store that year too.
But Mr Kerr did not rule out the possibility of Bundaberg jumping the queue.
"Someone might come knocking our door,” he said.
"When we go into the region we want to have three or four stores within proximity.”
Mr Kerr said Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie would be ideal locations as part of its Wide Bay strategy.