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Carrols to buy 21 area Burger Kings from Kessler Group

Rochester Business Journal
July 17, 2014

Dennis Kessler, left, and his brother Laurence once owned and operated 69 franchise restaurants and employed 3,000 workers. (RBJ file photo)

Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. has inked an agreement with Kessler Group Inc. to purchase 21 Burger King restaurants located in or around Rochester and in the Southern Tier. The transaction is expected to close July 22.

The majority of the 21 locations are in the Rochester area, including Monroe and Genesee counties, but also in Schuyler County, Steuben and Wyoming counties. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The deal with Carrols marks a change in the Kesslers’ focus, CEO Laurence Kessler said Thursday.

“We’ve been in business for 39 years—we were Burger King franchisees before Carrols were, and so we’ve shared the market with them over the years,” he said. “The timing was right for us and the timing was right for them—it was a propitious moment for both of us so we thought it was time to exit.”

Kessler added the company would continue to be in the restaurant development business, “but we will not be in the operational end of it.”

The deal took four months to solidify. The decision to pivot in a new direction has been known for a while, officials said.
“It was very quickly done, and we’re just moving on,” Kessler said. “We’re keeping our office (and) we’re keeping personnel in our office in anticipation of our next phase.”

Kessler Family LLC last July agreed to sell 35 of its franchised Friendly’s restaurants—including 11 in the Rochester area—to Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC.

Carrols Restaurant Group is the largest Burger King franchise worldwide with a total of 564 restaurants as of last month. It has operated the Burger King franchise for nearly 40 years.

“Earlier this year we completed a public offering of common stock to position us for opportunities such as these,” said Daniel Accordino, CEO of Carrols, in a statement. “Carrols has a track record of improving the operations and profitability of restaurants it has acquired and we believe we will enhance shareholder value as we execute our strategy to further expand our ownership within the Burger King system. We expect to make additional announcements of this nature in the future.”

In two separate transactions, Carrols acquired eight Burger King restaurants. Last month the company completed its purchase of four Burger King restaurants based in Pittsburgh. And in April the company completed the acquisition of four Burger King restaurants in Indiana.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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