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Joaquin Del Rio (left), from Spain, and Giovanni Ludergnani, from Italy, enjoy burgers from the recently nationally recognized Habit Burger Grill.

Paul Wellman

Joaquin Del Rio (left), from Spain, and Giovanni Ludergnani, from Italy, enjoy burgers from the recently nationally recognized Habit Burger Grill.


The Habit Heads to the Middle East


The owners of The Habit Burger Grill announced on Thursday their intentions to induce burger-eating habits in the Middle East. The Goleta-born chain has struck its first international franchise deal with Food Quest Restaurant Management, with an agreement that will take the popular eatery far abroad to six Middle Eastern countries over the next 10 years: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Food Quest will have exclusive rights to open up to 50 new restaurants across the region, with the first slated to open in the United Arab Emirates in the second half of 2015.

“Food Quest is a great restaurant operator and franchise business partner and we are proud to be working together to introduce The Habit Burger Grill brand to the Middle East,” said Habit CEO Russ Bendel in a press release.

The Habit began in Goleta in 1969, and its parent company now runs more than 100 restaurants throughout California, Arizona, Utah, and New Jersey from its Irvine headquarters. With this new deal, The Habit will be joining Food Quest’s roster of international restaurants — the franchise investor and operator runs food and beverage brands throughout the Middle East and North Africa, including Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Zambar, Punjab Grill, and Asia7.

“We are thrilled to be bringing The Habit Burger Grill to the United Arab Emirates and the entire Gulf Region,” said Darryl Bearer, general manager of Food Quest. “We have been longtime fans of the Habit brand.”

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