Bonchon, a global leader in Korean fried chicken,  announces that in Q1 2024, the company opened four new restaurants – two in California, one in New York, and one in Massachusetts – and signed an additional 20 new deals across the United States.

“We are on course to smash the record we set last year for deals signed,” says Suzie Tsai, Bonchon’s U.S. CEO. “Our flexible store formats combined with our simplified kitchen and operational ease are extremely attractive to individuals exploring a restaurant franchise.”

In 2023, Bonchon achieved its strongest new store sales in company history with more than 40 locations signed throughout the year adding 13 new franchise partners.

The franchise concept, known for its distinctive Korean fried chicken, hand-battered and double-fried to achieve its craveable crunch and hand-brushed to perfection with its proprietary sauces, looks forward to bringing its unique flavor to several new markets in 2024, including Long Island and Staten Island, N.Y., Huntsville, Ala., and Tucson, Ariz.

Positioned for growth

While the ongoing popularity of Korean culture and cuisine has significantly contributed to interest in the brand, Bonchon has strategically evolved its variety of restaurant formats to enable franchise partners to open locations best positioned to succeed in their local markets. In addition to traditional full-dine and fast-casual formats as well as recent openings in malls and food halls, Bonchon launched its first two remote kitchens and first hotel location in 2023, with its airport debut slated for 2025.

To attract both customers and potential franchise partners, the brand continually focuses on menu innovation, which includes award-winning wings and signature sauces along with a variety of approachable Korean specialties. Innovation includes new seasonal sauces and menu extensions around Korean fusion menu items.

Continued expansion

Founded in Busan, South Korea in 2002, Bonchon first opened in the U.S. in New York City in 2006 and is well on its way to growing from 130 to 500 U.S. locations and 1,000 locations worldwide in the next five years. 2023 saw continued expansion within existing markets such as Chicago, Colorado Springs, Denver, Houston, Nashville, New York City, Raleigh, and Washington, D.C., with record-breaking openings in Smyrna, Ga. and White Plains, N.Y. demonstrating consistent performance beyond forecasted projections. On the international front, Bonchon debuted its first restaurant in France in 2023, with Laos and Taiwan planned to open in 2024.

“While Bonchon currently has locations in more than 25 states across the country, the brand is actively seeking franchise partners in markets including Georgia, Southern California, New Jersey, New York, Arizona, Southern Florida, and Texas,” says Amanda Millikan, senior vice president of development at Bonchon.

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Bonchon