Denver, CO – December 19, 2012 – Smashburger, the rapidly expanding better burger chain, is pleased to announce the grand opening of its first Saudi Arabia location. The new restaurant, located in the Capital City of Riyadh, is an international “flagship store” for the Smashburger brand. Estimated to be about 7,700 square feet, it is, by far, the largest location Smashburger has opened globally. It is the first of 20 locations planned for the area by franchise partner Al Taqa Alia. Al Taqa Alia is planning to open two more locations in 2013, including an airport site.
“We are excited to expand our footprint in the Middle East”, said David Prokupek, Chairman and CEO of Smashburger. “We’ve seen the excitement and energy for Smashburger here when we opened our first restaurant in Kuwait earlier this year. Now Kuwait will end the year with three units open. We expect to see the same growth and strength for our brand in Saudi Arabia.”
This popular American franchise is planning expansion in Saudi Arabia in both traditional and non-traditional locations, including an airport site in 2013. Recently named “America’s Most Promising Company” by Forbes magazine, Smashburger is on pace to become an international favorite as well. The opening of Smashburger’s first Saudi Arabian restaurant marks the fourth international country for the brand outside the United States. Such international growth will continue as Smashburger targets more locations in the Middle East, specifically Turkey, and makes plans for expansion into North Africa over the next couple of years.
“There is a strong appetite for premium American brands in the Middle East. Smashburger is at the top of the list,” said Mr. Kamel Ismail, the franchise operator for Saudi Arabia. “We looked to partner with Smashburger specifically because we knew the reputation of quality behind their product. The people of Saudi Arabia will be surprised and delighted with how good these burgers taste.”
Smashburger, a brand that has built its reputation on fresh, made-to-order beef that is “smashed” and seared to lock in the juices of the burger, offers a regional recipe in every market. In Saudi Arabia, the 100 percent Certified Halal Angus Beef local burger is topped with Saudi spices, cheddar cheese, red onion, lettuce, pickles, tomato and tahini sauce on a spicy chipotle bun. Guests can also opt for the same delicious recipe on its Saudi Chicken sandwich. The restaurant also serves a selection of irresistible sides, beverages and hand-spun Häagen-Dazs® shakes, including the locally-inspired Almond Sesame milkshake.
Smashburger is America’s fastest growing, fast casual “better burger” restaurant with 200 corporate and franchise restaurants operating in 29 states and in four international countries. The company began in 2007 with the vision of Rick Schaden and funding by Consumer Capital Partners—the private equity firm that he and his father Richard own. By offering fresh, premium “smashed to order” burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, signature side items and hand-spun Haagen-Dazs shakes, Smashburger has modernized the way people think about burgers. Known for localizing its menu in every market with regionally inspired burgers and side items and offering local craft beers, Smashburger has received numerous awards including topping Fast Casual’s 2012 Top Mover & Shakers list, America’s Most Promising Company by Forbes magazine, INC. 500’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies INC’s #9 Hire Power Award winner, and is regularly voted “best burger’ in cities all around the world. To learn more, visit www.smashburger.com.
Kristina Jorge, ICR