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Smashburger travels across the pond

April 22, 2015
http://www.fastcasual.com/news/smashburger-travels-across-the-pond/

Smashburger has added the MSG Group as a new franchise partner in the United Kingdom, marking the chain’s entry into the country, according to a company press release. The new partnership expands the brand footprint to eight countries, and the chain plans to open 35 units in the UK.

“We are excited to grow our international presence in the United Kingdom with such a seasoned franchise partner who will help us bring Smashburger to a rapidly growing fast casual market.”

“The United Kingdom is hungry for better burgers and presents a significant opportunity for us to meet the global demand in the category,” Scott Crane, CEO of Smashburger, said in the release. “We are excited to grow our international presence in the United Kingdom with such a seasoned franchise partner who will help us bring Smashburger to a rapidly growing fast casual market.”

Currently owning more than 120 Domino’s pizza chain-restaurants in the United Kingdom, MSG Group, brings extensive restaurant management and operations experience to the table and will be funding the growth of the Smashburger operation in the United Kingdom, Crane said. Smashburger UK is led by Tim Lowther, MSG Group Managing Director, who has 30 years experience in the burger and fast casual industry and most recently introduced Shake Shack and Five Guys in the United Kingdom, according to the company.

“The fast casual dining market has yet to reach its potential in the United Kingdom and there is a huge opportunity for brands such as Smashburger,” Lowther said.

In 2014, Smashburger family added 65 new restaurants and saw 22 percent unit growth. Across the United States, Kuwait, Canada, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, there are currently 315 total units.