An Arby's store concept in Kuwait shows the brand's name in Arabic. Courtesy: Arby's

Atlanta-based Arby’s is planning to open 50 new restaurants in Egypt with a local franchisee, starting in 2018. 

The fast-food chain signed a development agreement with Vantage Egypt for Tourism Entertainment, the restaurant subsidiary of the Halawa dairy group, which already operates international concepts like Papa John’s pizza in the North African country. 

Arby’s is less internationally oriented than some of its quick-service counterparts, with stores only in seven countries including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey.

But the company has been revamped since it split from Wendy’s, the burger chain, and landed with Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group in 2011. 

Arby’s is now coming off a five-year period where system sales increased 20 percent to $3.7 billion, positioning the company for growth. 

The Atlanta-based parent company and franchisor, Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc., owns about a third of the 3,300 restaurants globally and set aside $189 million over the last three years to upgrade its operations. Those moves have taken the form of remodeled stores featuring upgraded fixtures and the  “delight line,” where customers watch their food being prepared on the way to picking up their order. 

Arby’s is also coming off the November announcement that it would acquire Buffalo Wild Wings, which has locations in 10 nations, for $2.4 billion in cash. Roark is backing the deal, according to news reports. 

The company sees no challenges in adapting its menu to Egypt, especially as it sees Kuwait restaurants surpassing sales during their first few months in operation, according to a spokesperson. The Arby’s slogan, “We have the meats,” probably won’t mean pork in this part of the Muslim world.

Internationally, Arby’s is looking for master franchisees in various countries seeking deals for 10 or more stores. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...