BurgerFi International Inc. is building on its momentum after going public in December 2020 by kicking its expansion plans into high gear. The Company is experiencing an impressive level of new growth and expanding its points of distribution across several fronts, including new brick-and-mortar restaurants, increasing its ghost kitchens footprint and rolling out the new "Fi on the Fly" food truck.
Brick and Mortar Development
“We’re starting to see the impact of the infusion of capital from going public with 25 signed leases in different stages of development, including 9 new restaurants currently under construction,” says Ophir Sternberg, Executive Chairman of BurgerFi. “We opened two new company restaurants last week alone in Jupiter, FL and Williamsburg, VA, and we have a large number of new restaurant openings planned for Q3 and Q4 as part of our new restaurant growth plans for the year.”
Over the past decade, BurgerFi has opened restaurants throughout the country, but is now implementing a cluster market strategy primarily focused on increasing its penetration in the Company’s core Southeast markets and working up the eastern seaboard.
Commenting on the strategy, Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi, states, “Cities like Jacksonville, Orlando, Nashville, Tampa, Miami and others along the eastern seaboard are where we’ll focus most of our growth with new company and franchise restaurants. We’ll capitalize on synergies knowing that additional restaurants allow us to grow brand awareness, reach new guests, convert them to loyal ‘Fi-natics’ and increase our average unit volumes.”
Ghost Kitchen Expansion
BurgerFi was an early adopter of ghost kitchens, entering that arena in June 2020, as the entire industry grappled with the pandemic that created a surge in off-premise business. It was a way to leverage the traffic flowing into the digital service providers (DSPs), like Uber Eats, Door Dash, Postmates, etc., and partner with companies like Reef Kitchens and Epic Kitchens to quickly expand into new areas with limited investment. The business has grown over the last year leading to a significant expansion in 2021, partnering with Reef Kitchens to open an additional 15-20 units in the second half of 2021. The new units will be focused primarily in BurgerFi cluster markets.
“We’re excited to expand our relationship with Reef Kitchens, which allows us to extend our reach in a fast, flexible and cost-effective manner,” says Henry Gonzalez, CMO of BurgerFi. “Our growth will be focused on our cluster markets, like Atlanta, Nashville and Miami to name a few, as a way to grow our brand awareness, affinity and seed the brand for future brick-and-mortar development.”
"Fi on the Fly" Food Truck: Bringing All-Natural Burgers and Fresh-Cut Sides Straight to You
Unveiled in May 2021, the better-burger concept has taken its award-winning favorites on the road with "Fi on the Fly" to expand its legion of Fi-natics by serving private parties, corporate events, charitable fundraisers, birthdays, weddings, cultural and sporting events, musical festivals, food truck events and more throughout the South Florida area.
“Whether it’s through our physical locations, ghost kitchens or our awesome new ‘Fi on the Fly’ food truck, these are all tools to connect with our guests however, whenever and wherever they want to engage with us to have the best burger experience. Stay tuned for exciting new projects in the works,” says Henry Gonzalez.