Smashburger, the rapidly expanding better burger restaurant concept, today announced a summary of its 2011 accomplishments and its plans for 2012.
2011 was another successful year of growth and consumer acceptance for the fast causal concept that opened 51 new units, including expansion into 12 new markets. The company ended the year with 143 locations nationwide, representing 55 percent new unit growth for the year.
The company also announced its first international expansion initiatives, with units expected to open in the Middle East, Canada, and Latin America in 2012, beginning the company’s strategic expansion to fast growing markets around the globe.
Smashburger is quickly gaining national recognition for its juicy handmade burgers, which are smashed fresh and served delicious, along with its localized recipes that celebrate regional taste profiles in each of the new markets it opens.
Smashburger’s unit growth was supported by a number of “best burger” awards around the country; positive same store sales growth of 3 percent; and the addition of 11 new franchise agreements that will bring its pipeline of committed franchise stores to more than 450 units, slated to open over the next several years.
“We are very pleased with our growth over the past year, particularly during a challenging consumer environment, and believe our ability to grow during this time and in an increasingly competitive market is a testament to the quality of our food, the strength of our brand, and the loyalty of our guests,” says Dave Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger.
“We see continued growth opportunity in the better burger marketplace as consumers continue to seek great tasting food that is available fast and at a competitive price point.”
In 2011, Smashburger was also recognized with a number of prominent industry awards, including being named “America’s Most Promising Company” by Forbes magazine, ranking No. 99 on the annual Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, and receiving the 2011 International Council of Shopping Centers’ “Hot Retailer Award.”
“In 2012, our growth plan is to add 50 to 70 new restaurants in new and existing markets, including 15 to 20 new corporate stores, and capitalizing on the momentum we have gained over the past four years,” Prokupek says.
“We are actively seeking qualified franchise partners to help us grow our existing corporate presence in Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, as well as enter new U.S. markets like San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., and additional international territories, including operations in Western Europe, South America and Asia.”