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    17 Stores to Open in Smashburger's Middle East Deal

     

    17 Stores to Open in Smashburger's Middle East Deal - Kandessa Media

    The better burger segment of fast casual is expanding quickly, both here in the United States, and abroad. Smashburger signed three development agreements to bring its burger concept and fresh ground beef smashed-burgers to the Middle East. The deals for Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are the first developments abroad for Denver-based Smashburger.

    Smashburger's agreement with Georgetown Advisors (GA), a boutique concept developer in Bahrain, calls for the opening of three stores in Bahrain and six stores in Kuwait. GA invests in and develops foodservice ventures based on varying culinary concept positioning. GA has already made investments in Gourmet Deli, Japanese-style dining and sandwich enterprises. The Smashburger partnership will be GA's first burger investment.

    In a new partnership with Smashburger, the Al Musbah Group will open eight airport units in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Musbah currently operates multi-unit concepts, such as Cinnabon, Sbarro, Carvel, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen®. Smashburger said the airport sites would "leverage the brand awareness of U.S. travelers," while introducing the brand to, and creating new touch points with, international travelers. 

    “Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia provide vibrant markets with strong appetites for restaurant concepts that have proven successful in the United States,” said Dave Prokupek, chairman and chief executive of Smashburger.

    Smashburger's sights continue to be set on further international expansion in Canada and in the United Kingdom.  A spokesperson for Smashburger would not comment on any progress on the chain’s progress in securing a Canadian franchise agreement.

    In the United States, the better burger chain competes with chains like Five Guys Burgers, Elevation Burger, Backyard Burgers, and others. Smashburger's market differentiation lies in its claim to create a better burger experience, and the customization of select store menu offerings to local market tastes.

    According to NPD Crest data, only one billion of the eight billion burgers served in 2010 came from the fast casual segment, which includes most of the better burger concepts. So, regardless of segment, creating an elevated burger experience is an opportunity for many restaurants to draw and retain new customers.

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    (09-07-11)

    Copyright: Kandessa Media. All rights reserved.

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    This story appears in:  Fast Casual | Chain News