Wahlburgers, the Boston-based restaurant company founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Chef Paul Wahlberg, is expanding its international presence through a franchise partnership that will include 20 locations in Australia and New Zealand. The Mustaca family, led by United Cinema Chairman and Founder Roy Mustaca, will own and operate each of the venues opened in both countries. The current family of Australia’s largest independent family-owned cinema chain, the Mustaca family, will open 15 new venues in Australia and another five in New Zealand over the next 5 years. The opening of Wahlburgers’ first franchise location in Australia is planned for the spring of 2021.
“Our family is very pleased to be opening the first of many new restaurants in Australia and New Zealand in cooperation with the Mustacas, to offer locals and visitors the culinary experience of the Wahlburgers with food, family and fun,” says chef Paul Wahlberg.
“I’ve had the pleasure of filming in Australia and New Zealand throughout my career and I’m grateful for the opportunity to now share my family’s delicious recipes with people in these two great countries,” says Mark Wahlberg. “With 49 Wahlburgers locations in the United States, two in Toronto, Canada and one at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, this expansion into Australia and New Zealand is a really exciting step to further develop this brand worldwide.”
After a successful career as an opera singer, Italian-born Rocco “Roy” Mustaca founded United Cinemas in 1987. In the past 30+ years, the chain has grown to over 67 screens in Australia, New Zealand and China. In 2018, the Mustaca family realized the need to diversify the group’s portfolio from movie shows, large retail and residential real estate holdings to more holistic experiences in food, beverage and entertainment.
The Mustaca family has put together an experienced management team to bring the Wahlburgers brand to market in Australia and New Zealand, including current United’s CFO and COO, Ivan Maras Steakhouse in Australia and Europe. Now the Mustaca family is ready to bring the Wahlburger experience to the people of Australia and New Zealand.
Sam Mustaca, United Cinemas CEO, said, “We are excited to bring Wahlburgers to guests here in Australia and New Zealand. We had followed the concept for years, and with its natural connections to the entertainment industry, it just seemed a perfect fit to include Wahlburger in the United Cinemas experience. The first burgers by choice will be in Sydney’s business district and we plan to introduce more than standalone restaurants as well as in some of our United Cinema locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and New Zealand. With really great food, beer and a fun atmosphere, we think it will be a huge hit. ”
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