Smashburger signed an agreement with Chicago caterer Food for Thought Enterprises through their development arm, Smash Illinois LLC, to operate 11 restaurants in the Chicago area.

“Brian Rosen, president of Food for Thought and Smash Illinois LLC, and his team are ideal partners for us as we enter the Chicago market,” says Dave Prokupek, Smashburger chairman and managing partner of Consumer Capital Partners, the private equity firm funding Smashburger’s expansion. “As president and operator of the popular Food for Thought cafés throughout the area, Brian has exactly the kind of know-how and track record to make Smashburger everyone’s favorite burger place in Chicago.”

The Smash Illinois agreement adds another state to Smashburger’s national footprint and brings the number of franchise locations to more than 200. With a combination of corporate, franchise, and joint venture partnerships, Smashburger has created a strategy that allows the Denver-based company to grow quickly.

“Chicago is a burger-loving town, and we know the Smashburger concept is going to be a huge success here,” Rosen says. “The Smashburger team has an impressive track record of opening and operating successful restaurants. Combine that with an amazing product, and it’s the kind of business I want to be a part of.”

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