Hawaii restaurant franchise leader seeks new food and beverage opportunities
Following the sale of local Jack in the Box restaurants and Jamba Hawaii locations, restaurant franchise executive Chris Scanlan is seeking new food and beverage franchise and license opportunities in the Islands and beyond.
Scanlan previously owned the franchise for Jack in the Box restaurants in Hawaii and Guam, and the license for Jamba Hawaii, before selling both brands late last year.
Now his company, formerly Scanlan Management, has rebranded to Blue Pacific Brands, and Scanlan, as founder and managing partner, is looking for new food service concepts to work with.
“A brand is a lifestyle choice and its value is measured at every touch. Blue Pacific Brands reflects our corporate focus to build great brand experiences,” Scanlan told Pacific Business News about the company’s rebranding.
The company will focus on acquiring, operating and building food and beverage brands. Scanlan said he is looking at opportunities in Hawaii, as well as in Guam and on the Mainland.
“We want to build and work with brands that we believe in — brands that we love and appreciate for the quality of the food, operating excellence and enhancement to the communities they serve,” he said.
“Our business model is to look for national brands that resonate with us and perhaps may not be operating at their full potential, and then optimize them for the Hawaii market and beyond,” Scanlan continued. “We will invest in and operate national brands in the food and beverage, quick-service industry, and build those businesses by leveraging our experience and knowledge of the Hawaii market.”
Scanlan told PBN that the company is not ready to disclose any specific brands that it plans to work with, but he noted that the first investment will likely be a restaurant or a beverage and wellness concept. He said the company aims to go to market with a new brand by early 2024.
Scanlan has more than 35 years of experience in the industry, including with quick-service restaurants, as well as food and beverage retail chains. He worked with brands including KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Burger King, before acquiring Jack in the Box in 2006, followed by Jamba Hawaii in 2013.
Seattle-based PARS Group LLC acquired the franchise for 28 Jack in the Box restaurants in Hawaii and two in Guam in October 2022. Miami-based Fresh Dining Concepts acquired the license for 27 Jamba Hawaii locations throughout the state in December. The financial details of both acquisitions were undisclosed.
Scanlan told PBN that working with Jack in the Box and Jamba Hawaii was an “incredible journey.”
“We’re proud that throughout the years, we put in a lot of work for both businesses, and I believe we were able to build the brands into their respective category leaders. We remodeled dated store locations and redid everything including the infrastructure and technology,” Scanlan said. “In 16 years, we garnered more than $100 million in annual sales, and built and trained a core team for each brand, growing to about 1,500 employees and 61 restaurants.”
He said he opted to sell the businesses once both were “running well” operationally and financially.
“I was ready for another new challenge. The timing and market seemed right, and it was time to move on to the next chapter,” Scanlan said.
Looking ahead, Scanlan said Blue Pacific plans to partner with one or two “select premium brands.”
“Over the next five to 10 years, we hope to be operating large successful teams across a strong portfolio of brands,” he said.
As Blue Pacific Brands evaluates new opportunities, Scanlan said that the company is currently comprised of a “small executive and consulting team.” Blue Pacific Brands also includes Scanlan’s business partner Eddie Park. The pair has been working together since the 1990s, and they have collaborated on numerous restaurant concepts.
Scanlan noted that he expects to “hire anywhere from 400 to 1,000 operating staff per concept when launched.”
“I’m looking forward to finding opportunities to acquire exciting brands that really resonate with the local markets,” he said.