AML Foods has decided to pull the plug on its Carl’s Jr franchise and close all three outlets, Tribune Business confirmed yesterday, although no job losses will result.
Renea Bastian, vice-president of marketing for the BISX-listed food retail and franchise group, said all affected employees would simply be redeployed throughout the company’s other brands, which include Solomon’s, Cost Right, Solomon’s Fresh Market and Domino’s Pizza.
“All of the Carl’s Jr restaurants are closed as of December 10,” she said. “There has been no loss of jobs. All persons who were employed with Carl’s Jr will be placed within AML’s existing businesses.
“Everyone has basically been reassigned in either Dominos or the delis associated with food stores,” added Ms Bastian, estimating that there were less than 50 persons employed between the three Carl’s Jr locations on the East-West Highway, Carmichael Road and the Mall at Marathon.
The move is not a complete surprise, given that Tribune Business reported back in October that AML had “paused” the expansion of its Carl’s Jr hamburger franchise, after failing to generate the return on investment (ROI) it was targeting.
Gavin Watchorn, AML Foods’ president and chief executive, said at the time: “You’ve got to get a return on your investment, and we’re not getting the return we want.
“We’re not going to invest any further until we get the return on investment we want.”
When AML Foods acquired the rights to the Carl’s Jr brand for the Bahamas in early 2012, the group had talked of investing $3-$4 million over a five-year period to grow Carl’s Jr to a five-store chain with an annual $15 million top-line at full build-out.
The hamburger/fast food market in the Bahamas is highly competitive, with Wendy’s; Burger King; McDonald’s and other brands acting as its main rivals. AML Foods, which also has the Domino’s Pizza franchise, is battling for market share directly with Chris and Terry Tsavoussis, the Aetos Holdings principals (Wendy’s, Marco’s Pizza and Popeyes Chicken), plus George Myers and the Myers Group.
AML Foods Limited, one of the country’s largest supermarket chains, recently opened its third Solomon’s-branded store on New Providence, with the newest store located in Yamacraw. That outlet adds to the company’s four retail and wholesale grocery outlets currently in New Providence - Solomon’s Super Centre, Cost Right Wholesale and Solomon’s Fresh Market Harbour Bay and Old Fort Bay.