Smashburger secured its tenth franchisee, Reload LLC. The latest agreement brings the total number of Smashburger franchise locations to 187.

The latest franchise deal is another step in Smashburger’s forward-moving national expansion plans. The company began its franchise expansion in the fall of 2008 and has signed 10 deals with established, proven multiunit operators. The strategy is allowing Smashburger to grow swiftly without affecting its core consumer promise of a “better burger” value that maximizes guests’ time and dining experience.

“Franchise partners like Reload fit perfectly with how we’re trying to grow and expand,” says Scott Crane, president of Smashburger.

“Reload brings experience and expertise to the table and really understands how to operate a successful restaurant franchise. We’re excited to have found such a strong franchisee to help us enter the Nebraska market. With Reload on board, we’re sure to satisfy Nebraskan’s desire for a better burger.”

Reload owner Jim Stevens also owns and operates more than 30 popular fast-casual and casual-dining franchise units in the Midwest. The 10 Smashburgers Reload has agreed to open will cover markets in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. The franchisee has already scouted locations and is on schedule to open its first restaurant by the end of the year. The remaining nine locations are still very early in the planning stages but are slated to open over the next few years.