QSR International, the master franchisee of Smashburger in Central America, the Caribbean, and parts of South America, announced the opening of the first Smashburger restaurant in Panama. Panama marks the third country in which QSR International has opened Smashburger restaurants and the sixth country for Smashburger worldwide.

This is the first of five restaurants committed to open in Panama over the next four years. Located in Plaza New York, Panama City, Capital of Panama, this Smashburger restaurant promises to deliver hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, and a host of signature side dishes. In addition, a special burger inspired by local Panamanian tastes has been created. It’s called the Panama Burger, with smoked applewood bacon, grilled Panamanian white cheese, a fried egg, ketchup, haystack onion rings, and sautéed onions on egg bread. Plus, customers can enjoy side dishes created specifically to satisfy the local market, such as fried Portobello mushrooms, chips with guacamole, and plantanitos fritos (fried plantain chips) with chipotle dressing.

The restaurant uses the latest prototype Smashburger design, and seats 96 customers while employing 25 Panamanian workers.

For Inversiones Platinum Brands S.A., Panama’s Smashburger franchisee and a multiunit operator of Wing Zone restaurants, this marks the opening of their second franchised concept. “We’re very happy and excited about Smashburger and its menu. We have received amazing responses from our customers and are extremely motivated to make Smashburger the best place for better burgers in Panama,” says Diqueos Tagaropulos, president.

As successful restaurant operators of Wing Zone franchised restaurants, with five operating locations, Inversiones Platinum Brands S.A. has the knowledge and infrastructure to successfully develop and operate Smashburger fast-casual restaurants. In a very short time, it has become one of Panama’s valued competitors in the fast-casual restaurant segment.

“Our partners at Inversiones Platinum Brands have proven to be excellent hands-on operators who are highly motivated to succeed. We are sure that Smashburger is in great hands and that they will develop Smashburger to its full potential,” says Richard Eisenberg, president of QSR International.

“For Smashburger, we’re focusing on candidates who have a clear understanding of the fast- casual restaurant business. Our ideal franchise candidate for Smashburger is someone who is already a successful franchisee of another restaurant brand; someone who can leverage their existing operational infrastructure and expertise to grow their restaurant portfolio with a new, up-and-coming concept,” says Pablo Fernandez, director of development for QSR International.

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