Smashburger to Introduce as Many as 70 New Stores This Year

January 18, 2012 | Bloomberg | By Leslie Patton

Smashburger, a Denver-based hamburger chain, will open 60 to 70 new stores in the U.S. and Canada this year, Chief Executive Officer Dave Prokupek said.

“We continue to be well accepted by consumers,” Prokupek said in a telephone interview today.

Smashburger will open its first location in Los Angeles this year and expand to other new markets, he said. There are currently more than 140 Smashburger stores in the U.S.

The eatery, which competes with fast-casual restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co., signed a deal this month to introduce 18 stores in Latin America. The first will open this year in Costa Rica, Prokupek said.

Smashburger, owned by private-equity firm Consumer Capital Partners in Denver, isn’t planning an initial public offering soon, Prokupek said.

“We’re very well funded for the next couple of years and going public in 2012 is not on the docket,” he said. Still, it “could be a very fun and interesting public company someday,” he said.

Revenue at Smashburger rose 36 percent to $53.5 million in 2011 from a year earlier.

Chipotle is also based in Denver and Panera is based in St. Louis.