Bonchon, the wildly popular Korean fried chicken restaurant concept with over 115 U.S. locations, announced today that it has signed a lease to open a 2,800 square foot location at 900 W North Avenue within the Winston Plaza shopping center. The forthcoming restaurant will bring the brand’s world-famous signature menu to the market, which includes hand-battered, double-fried, crispy Korean fried chicken.
Suleman Merchant and Sadaf Siddiqui are the Chicago-based entrepreneurs and experienced operators spearheading the new Melrose Park location.
“Chicagoland has already shown it loves Bonchon, so we’re confident that the new Melrose Park location will become a mealtime destination for even more local residents,” says Greg Buchanan, chief administrative officer at Bonchon. “Continuing to add talented operators like Suleman and Sadaf to the Bonchon family is at the core of our growth as we tap into more communities that crave our delicious Korean food. With more restaurant operators joining the Crunch Out Loud movement every day, demand for Bonchon continues to be at an all-time high.”
The Melrose Park Bonchon location marks the brand’s 8th restaurant to open in Illinois, which includes the upcoming opening in Skokie and Aurora locations. This lease announcement comes during an exciting growth era for the brand, which has 385-plus units worldwide including in the countries of Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Thailand and Vietnam. Bonchon also recently announced it is ramping up its growth initiative in key cities across the United States.
In addition to the brand’s growth across the nation, there are several other factors driving Bonchon’s impressive momentum, such as reaching a 21% five-year growth rate and securing several commitments from franchise groups. Also notable, current average unit volume has reached $1.57 million and according to Black Box Intelligence data, Bonchon has consistently outperformed all other segments and cuisines in its two-year metrics (2021 vs. 2019) with positive 23% same store sales as of Dec. 25, 2021. The brand has displayed its perseverance and the ability it has to thrive in all market conditions.
As its unwavering commitment to strategic expansion continues and as Bonchon locations sustain consistent sales growth, multi-unit operators have placed a high priority on adding the concept into their portfolios. An ideal Bonchon franchise candidate has restaurant experience, is dedicated to operational excellence and maintains a commitment to customer service and product quality.
Bonchon, which translates from Korean to English as “my hometown,” is known for its signature Korean fried chicken that is hand battered, double-fried to achieve its signature, crave-worthy crunch. Every piece of chicken is hand brushed to make each bite perfectly flavorful. Born in Busan, South Korea in 2002, Bonchon’s founder Jinduk Seo dreamed of sharing his favorite flavors with the world. In 2006, U.S. fans were able to Crunch Out Loud with the global sensation as the brand continued to expand across the country.