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COYOTE UGLY: Rocking Around the World

Case Study

COYOTE UGLY: Rocking Around the World

The well-oiled machine that is Coyote Ugly is establishing new locations the world over. Single, multi-unit and country master franchises are available now

The well-oiled machine that is Coyote Ugly is establishing new locations the world over. Single, multi-unit and country master franchises are available now

When owner and founder Liliana Lovell started a small bar in New York City, she never imagined she was onto something that would be such a huge, world-wide success. In the early 90’s, the New York City bar scene, like most bar scenes across the globe, was dominated by male bartenders and most bars had an offering undistinguishable from the bar next door. It was in that mundane, ordinary nightlife scene that Lovell saw opportunity. “I think women want to feel empowered – and that’s not a concept that’s strictly American. This was the inspiration to do something new and bold,” says Lovell. It was time to shake things up.

This shift in thinking led to a small new bar in NYC’s East Village called Coyote Ugly.From that bar – which recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary – a culture was born. A culture of fun, few limits, empowered women on and behind the bar, and an ongoing party in which customers themselves become part of the celebration.

Today, Coyote Ugly brings its unique style of business to markets across the world. With expansion at the forefront of the brand, Coyote Ugly continues to open corporate-owned bars across the USA and seek franchise partners outside of the US. “It’s unique to have such a large, well-known, powerhouse brand like Coyote Ugly still available in major markets as a franchise opportunity.” says Justin Livingston, VP of Global Development for the brand. “We put a lot of time and energy into translating the concept to other countries and cultures, deciding what our non-negotiables were and what we were willing to localize. At the heart of the Coyote Ugly culture is a focus on fun, customer engagement, independent and empowered female bartenders. Our unique party atmosphere has translated fantastically into other cultures.”

Seven countries

Coyote Ugly currently operates in seven countries and that list is growing rapidly. Booze + girls = money seems to be a formula understood all over the world. “People of all cultures share the same desire to socialize and connect with one another. With our concept, you can do that, all the while being entertained by the most amazing bartenders in the industry. It’s an experience today’s customers are demanding,” says Lee Killingsworth, Chief Creative Officer for the brand.

International expansion is no easy task. Coyote Ugly has systems and processes developed by 25 years of operations and pioneering the industry. Behind the systems is a team dedicated to exploring and understanding new cultures in order to suitably tailor the brand. “As Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz, ‘we aren’t in Kansas anymore!’” Lovell smiles. “I relish moments like eating blowfish in Tokyo, drinking fermented horse milk in Bishkek, and singing Beatles songs at the Cavern in Liverpool. I love it and I love sharing these experiences with our team and family of franchisees!”

It’s now a global force, but Coyote Ugly comes from humble beginnings. “I had been in the restaurant/bar/club business since I was 16. I didn’t want to be a manager/bartender forever, so I took the leap and opened my own place.It was in the style that I liked; a bar that was an extension of my personality,” says Lovell. “Honestly, I never thought Coyote Ugly would be this successful.I’m constantly amazed at where we are and our continued growth worldwide and the global
family we have put together.”

Brand integrity

Maintaining brand integrity is key as Coyote Ugly continues to grow. “Helping people understand that behind all the antics these women are independent, strong people is key,” Lovell says. With all the craziness that a night at Coyote Ugly can bring, there is a lot of work to be done in the back of the house to create a successful business. Training and operational programs provided by the concept expands Coyote Ugly culture while keeping the brand intact. “The recipe for a successful expansion has two main ingredients, “says Livingston, “a total understanding of our brand, training and operational programs, and the patience and skill to find franchise partners that we believe we can set up to be successful and who will be good stewards of our brand.”

In Coyote Ugly Saloons across the world, you will find environments incorporating local music and local alcohol, but the theme and feeling is the same. “One example of a difference is a lot more dancing on the floor in some of the foreign bars. This is based on cultural preference, every market is a little different,” says Lovell.

Most famous bar

The world is a big place and Coyote Ugly shows no signs of slowing down in its mission to bring the boot-stomping, rowdy, country-themed party to markets and cultures in every corner of the globe. “We’re taking the most famous bar brand in the world and offering not only the power and history of the brand, but a support and training franchise program unparalleled in franchising!” says Livingston.

The total investment in a Coyote Ugly Saloon franchise is between $500,000USD and $1,500,000USD dependent on location/market, size, and condition of the unit. Single, multiunit, and country master franchise partnerships are available. Owners will benefit from the history of a world-wide legend in the industry and tested business model.

Think you may have what it takes to own the Most Famous Bar on the Planet? Do you want access to the knowledge, systems, and leadership of the world leader in the bar-nightclub industry? Do you want to be a part of the upcoming aggressive expansion of the Coyote Ugly Saloon brand? If you’d like to talk about the details and see if we are a good match for each other, visit and request information to Justin Livingston, Vice President of Global Development

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