San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Hooters, Chili’s, Applebee's expanding in Costa Rica

A pair of foreign franchises opened their first restaurants in Costa Rica in the past month. Several other restaurants have announced plans to increase their number of locations.

Before the end of this year, Hooters will open its fourth Costa Rican restaurant – in Paseo Metrópoli in Cartago, east of San José. Owners invested $1 million in the location, according to El Financiero. The franchise hopes to double the number of Hooters in the country by 2014. The first Hooters opened in Escazú, in west San José, in 2005.

In addition, Hooters plans to add a Costa Rican headquarters. The site will train employees, store food and standardize recipes. Hooters General Manager Veronica Caballero told El Financiero that construction on the site begins this month at a cost of $200,000.

Hooters restaurants also plan to start offering frequent customer cards that provide discounts to clients.

In September, restaurant Chili’s and El Salvadoran sports bar BW Buffalo Wings opened their first Costa Rican locations.

The first Chili’s opened in Multiplaza Escazú. Chili’s announced plans to open a second franchise before the end of the year in Plaza Lincoln in Moravia, and five total in the next three years.  

BW Buffalo Wings debuted last weekend in Plaza Tempo in shopping center Avenida Escazú, after an investment of $700.000. The restaurant plans to add four more franchises by 2014.

Applebee’s signed a contract to start on a new restaurant in La Aurora in Heredia, El Financiero wrote.

The Tico Times reported in May on the influx of U.S. chains entering the country in the past couple of years. Some of the new franchises include Starbucks, Pollo Tropical, Smashburger, Carl’s Jr. and Moe’s Southwestern Grill.

Other long-time staples in Costa Rica include Subway, Quizno’s, McDonald’s, KFC and Teriyaki Experience. All continue opening stores. 

Correction: The original story stated the U.S. franchise Buffalo Wild Wings is opening in Costa Rica Buffalo Wild Wings is not opening in Costa Rica. The El Salvadoran wing chain BW Buffalo Wings opened its first Costa Rican franchise in September. The story has been modified to reflect this change.

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