Fogo de Chão announced the signing of a franchise development agreement that will bring Fogo’s award-winning dining experience to Canada for the first time. Through the agreement, Debut Development Group, a leading developer, owner and operator of high-end restaurants, hotels, resorts, and entertainment venues worldwide, will bring 10 Fogo locations to Canada over the next 11 years. The announcement follows Fogo’s recently announced plans to enter Asia with its first development deal in the Philippines and is a key step in the Company’s strategic growth plans as it continues to expand throughout the United States and globally. Debut Development Group joins Fogo’s existing international franchise partners in the Philippines, Mexico, and the Middle East.
With 66 locations worldwide and growing, earlier in 2022 Fogo announced a 15 percent planned annual growth rate through company-owned restaurants, with an additional international capital light franchise development strategy. With the goal to bring the culinary art of churrasco to guests worldwide, the Company has announced 8-10 company-owned and 1-2 international franchise restaurant openings for 2022, supported by a strong pipeline of new restaurant development to meet demand in new and existing markets. Fogo’s newest openings include restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, El Segundo, Calif., Coral Gables, Fla. and Monterrey, Mexico, with planned openings in Queens, N.Y., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Paramus, N.J. and others expected later this year.
“We are proud to partner with Michael Wilkings, Chairman & CEO, and Jim Bowen, Chief Development Officer, and their experienced team at Debut Development Group, who’ve built an incredible reputation for success in developing and operating high-end hospitality brands around the world,” says Barry McGowan, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão. “We are focused on scaling Fogo and executing on our strategic growth goals. The Canadian market represents a strong opportunity to continue our growth in North America and to bring our distinctive Fogo experience to local guests, many of whom have visited us on their travels around the globe.”
Toronto-based Debut Development Group is a leading hospitality and hotel owner, developer, and operator with a proven track record of successfully scaling concepts internationally. With an extensive global footprint, Debut Development Group’s portfolio includes high-end brands including Grand Hyatt, Margaritaville, Nikki Beach, Wolfgang Puck Café, Juliana’s, Cipriani, the Vogue Club, and more.
“Fogo de Chão is a very attractive partner for us given its established, proven concept and unique experience built on discovery,” adds Michael Wilkings, CEO, Chairman and Founder of Debut Development Group. “We’re honored to partner with Fogo to create additional value for the brand and bring Canadian guests a dining experience unlike any other.”
Founded in Southern Brazil in 1979, Fogo de Chão is a nearly 45-year-old brand known for its dining experience of discovery and showcasing the culinary art of churrasco where guests can watch as gaucho chefs butcher, hand-carve and grill high-quality cuts of protein over an open flame. With a modern, timeless design and signature offerings including a fresh and seasonal Market Table and an award-winning Bar Fogo menu featuring hand-crafted cocktails and South American wines, Fogo has become a destination of choice by both brand advocates and new guests globally.
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