Smashburger, the fastest growing “better burger” concept in the U.S. and recently ranked as Forbes Magazine’s No. 1 “Most Promising Company in America,” today announced it has partnered with international restaurateur Richard Eisenberg and his company, QSR International, in a growth initiative to expand the brand’s footprint into Latin America.
Eisenberg’s franchise commitment of 18 restaurants will bring Smashburger’s juicy burgers that are smashed fresh and served delicious, along with its premium menu offering, to new territory in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
The company expects to open its first Latin America locations in Costa Rica in 2012 and is actively seeking additional experienced multi-unit operators to become franchise partners across the Latin American region.
The Smashburger locations in Latin America will open over the course of the next several years. This marks the third international market for Smashburger, following recent expansion announcements for Canada and the Middle East.
Richard Eisenberg is a veteran franchise executive who possesses deep industry expertise developing successful growth concepts across the Latin American region.
As former general manager and executive director of YUM Brands Central America, Caribbean, and Northern Latin America, Eisenberg brings a wealth of knowledge to Smashburger’s international development team, having orchestrated 169 new restaurant openings in 16 countries in four years for KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.
Now co-founder and president of QSR International, Eisenberg and his team have successfully executed 120 restaurant openings in 13 countries for KFC, Quiznos, and Teriyaki Experience.
“After many years of knowing Richard and being impressed with his success, we are pleased and privileged to welcome him to the Smashburger family and look forward to leveraging his rich regional experience to introduce, develop, and grow our brand in Latin America,” says Dave Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger.
“The Latin American marketplace presents a significant opportunity for Smashburger’s growth, and we are excited to partner with such a passionate restaurant operator to bring our premium better burger offering and diverse menu to his home market of Costa Rica and new cities across the region. We are confident consumers in these new markets will respond enthusiastically to our localized menu and exceptional service.”
“With its superior food quality and the most diverse menu offering in the better burger segment, I believe Smashburger will continue to translate extremely well across many countries and cultures,” Eisenberg says. “I am excited to debut this exciting brand in Latin America, and look forward to working with Smashburger’s talented team to exceed company expectations for the region.”
Smashburger will continue its focus on serving localized menus for its guests in Latin America with the addition of locally inspired burgers developed specifically for area residents.
Costa Rica’s regional burger will be unveiled at the time of the opening.