In an ongoing push to grow overseas, Denny’s Inc. on Tuesday announced a franchise agreement that will bring 30 of the company’s family-dining restaurants to nine countries in the Middle East over the next 10 years.

According to the agreement, Advance Investment LLC has exclusive rights to open Denny’s restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. The affiliate of Food Quest Restaurant Management LLC, which also manages internationally based restaurant brands such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen (or GBK), Zambar Coastal Kitchen, Punjab Grill and Asia7, expects to open the first unit in the UAE in 2015.

The deal marks Denny’s first move into the Middle East region.

“We are making significant progress expanding the Denny’s brand internationally with the right franchise partners, and this is further evidence of that momentum,” John Miller, Denny’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “This significant development agreement is our first major expansion in the Middle East and expands Denny’s unopened international pipeline to over 60 restaurants.”

The Denny’s chain includes about 1,700 restaurants worldwide, but only about 100 are in 11 foreign countries and U.S. territories, including Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guam, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico and New Zealand.

The Middle East has increasingly become a target for U.S. brands seeking to expand their worldwide footprint. Other American brands reporting recent growth in the region include The Cheesecake Factory, Fatburger, Quiznos, Beautiful Brands International, Mooyah Burgers Fries & Shakes, Which Wich, Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza, Focus Brands Inc. and Shake Shack.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
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