Hear that crunch? It’s the sound of the Korean fried chicken wave closing in on Nashville…a surge of the Hallyu movement that is sweeping through the nation. 

Bonchon, the wildly popular Korean fried chicken restaurant concept with 115 U.S. locations, announced today that it has signed a franchise agreement to open six locations throughout the Greater Nashville market. It will bring the brand’s world-famous signature menu to Nashville, which includes hand-battered, double-fried, crispy Korean fried chicken, with plans to open in neighborhoods throughout Montgomery, Davidson, Sumner, Williamson and Rutherford counties. Neng “Alan” Lan and Xuefang Chen are the restauranteurs developing the Korean fried chicken restaurants in the area. This is the second signed agreement for Lan and Chen with Bonchon, with the first being a three-unit deal in Nashville in addition to this six-unit agreement. The first location is set to open in 2022. 

This announcement comes at an exciting time for the brand, which has 385-plus units worldwide including in the countries of Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Thailand and Vietnam. Bonchon recently announced it is ramping up its growth initiative in key cities across the United States, including the Midwest, Northeast and Southern markets. 

“Bonchon and the Nashville community are a perfect pair culturally. With Neng and Xuefang’s dedication to cultivating a presence for our brand in this city, we know it won’t take long until they have a community of fans at their restaurants,” says Greg Buchanan, senior vice president of development at Bonchon. “As we continue to expand the brand with multi-unit owners, we know they will set a great example of what it means to embody the brand while maintaining strong operations.” 

In addition to the brand’s growth planned for the Nashville market, there are several other factors driving Bonchon’s impressive momentum, such as reaching a 25.4% five-year franchise growth rate and securing commitments from franchise groups for an additional 106 restaurants that are in the development pipeline. Also notable, current average unit volume has reached $1.39 million and restaurants are driving annual comp store sales of 15% in 2021 as compared to 2020, and 23% as compared to 2019 – displaying the perseverance of Bonchon and its ability 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. 

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Bonchon