News | June 14, 1999

Cinnabon Plans International Expansion

Atlanta-based Cinnabon, founder of the cinnamon bun food chain, announced expansion deals on Friday that include 134 new units in Asia, the Middle East and the United States. The announcement marks a reversal of franchising plans since AFT acquired the chain last October.

In the U.S., Cinnabon has partnered with Host Marriott Services to add 50 sites over eight years that will include airports, roadside sites with gas stations and food courts. Cinnabon has 375 bakeries in 39 states with system-wide 1998 sales of $140 million. Currently, Cinnabon has 16 bakeries outside the United States, which are located in Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Internationally, 42 bakeries are planed for Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam over the next five years.

William Van Epps, president of AFC's international division, said that more deals might follow. He said that despite its recent economic problems, Asia "is starting to turn around and a lot of companies are looking now at expansion for the future."

The chain has also reached a franchise agreement with Mohammed Qusai Assad & Sons for additional 42 units in the Middle East, 25 units in Egypt, 12 in Kuwait and five in Jordan.

Van Epps said the international markets have a lot of potential for the company. "The international arena will probably double or triple that of the domestic market in the foreseeable future," he said.

AFC also owns Churchs Chicken, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Seattle's Best Coffee, Torrefazione Italia Coffee and Chesapeake Bagel Bakery.