Arby’s restaurants are returning to Mexico, with local flair

Arby's has opened a restaurant in Mexico, part of the Sandy Springs-based chain's plans for several hundred restaurants in that nation.
Arby's has opened a restaurant in Mexico, part of the Sandy Springs-based chain's plans for several hundred restaurants in that nation.

Credit: Arby's

Credit: Arby's

Arby’s restaurants are returning to Mexico, and, at its first location there, beer is part of the mix.

The Sandy Springs-based fast-food chain said it hopes to open “several hundred” restaurants in Mexico in the coming years. On Thursday, the first of them officially opened in Guadalajara. A second location is slated to open early next year, according to an email from a company spokesperson.

The company and franchisee Key Spot Group, part of Gruncorp, said extensive testing was done on menu options with Mexican tastes in mind. Additions include sandwiches with pulled pork, pork belly and avocados.

The Guadalajara restaurant also will serve beer — Modelo Especial and Modelo Negra — on draft. It’s part of an effort to adapt “the brand to meet local consumer preferences,” the spokesperson said.

When asked, the company didn’t say if it plans to offer beer at any other restaurants.

Paul Brown, the chief executive of Inspire Brands, the chain’s parent, called Arby’s Mexico launch “an exciting moment in the brand’s international growth as we bring our meat-focused menu to new guests around the world.”

Arby’s restaurants have operated in Mexico in past years. Those operations ended, though the company didn’t provide details when asked about it Thursday. A story in media outlet El Financiero suggested the restaurants were hurt by a poor economy in the 1990s and management problems.

Arby’s has more than 3,500 restaurants in its chain, all but 155 of which are in the United States. Others are in Canada, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.

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