Canadian restaurateur and Franchise Developer Frank Di Benedetto, CEO and owner of FDF Restaurant Brandz, a leading privately held restaurant franchising company, has announced the purchase of the 12-year-old Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria chain for an undisclosed amount.
Led by Ricky’s Group of Family-style restaurants, including Ricky’s All Day Grill, Ricky’s Country, Ricky’s hotel partners, and Ricky’s Cafés, as well as Fatbuger locations, the addition of approximately 30 Famoso locations in Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Saskatchewan brings the total FDF Brandz folio to about 175 franchise restaurant locations. Seven new Ricky’s and 12 new Fatburgers are opening in the next 18 months. None of the current Famoso locations will close.
“We are delighted to bring the popular Famoso chain into the fold and welcome the franchise owners of these neighbourhood pizzerias known for using authentic ingredients and processes to create flavorful Neapolitan pizzas and other tasty choices,” said Di Benedetto.
“This is a great fit for FDF Brandz as it allows us to add a new segment to our growing restaurant folio, with Ricky’s covering family casual, Fatburger in the premium burger fast casual category, and now with Famoso representing the premium casual pizzeria and bar segment,” he said.
He sees significant growth potential in the chain that was started by three young restaurant entrepreneurs and is confident that the time is right for FDF Brandz to bring its management franchising experience to take the chain to a new and higher level. Going forward, a smaller 1,250-square-foot, 24-seat QSR take-out version to be called Famoso Pronto will join the current Famoso 2500 model, which features 2,500 square feet of dining and bar space. Famoso is an eat-in/take-out & delivery format pizzeria & bar.
New franchisees will be recruited for further expansion of the brand in Western and Eastern Canada, with franchise startup costs reduced to approximately $650,000 to $700,000 for a new Famoso 2500 and to about $375,000 for a Famoso Pronto. Existing owners of Famoso franchises will be given preference for expansion.
To assure the highest quality of food and service, FDF Brandz will retain Famoso’s current operations and marketing team, including one of the principals, for at least six months to ease the transition and to assist with franchise development of the revised model format.
FDF Brandz is targeting system wide sales in Canada of approximately $225 million by end of 2019. It projects a 200-unit chain franchise restaurant folio by the end of 2020, generating more than $15 million yearly in royalty revenue stream.
Over the next five years, FDF Brandz plans to double the number of Famoso locations in Canada and to grow the brand in the U.S., U.K., Australia, China, India, the Middle East and other international locales.