Smashburger is expanding its presence in the Middle East. The rapidly expanding better-burger restaurant announced a new partnership with Pearll Investments LLC to grow the brand in Qatar and United Arab Emirates, including Dubai and Doha, with 26 restaurants planned to open over the next several years. Twenty-two of the 26 units will open in United Arab Emirates and the remaining four restaurants will open in Qatar.
The new agreement continues the rapid global expansion for the brand. UAE and Qatar operations will join Smashburger operations underway in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, as well as new restaurants in the United Kingdom and Egypt coming later this year.
"Smashburger's international expansion has really taken off and we're excited to be adding United Arab Emirates and Qatar to our portfolio of international countries," says Scott Crane, president and CEO of Smashburger. "Our new franchise partners are experienced restaurant operators, and we're confident they will help us grow the brand throughout this part of the region. Dubai in particular is an attractive destination for people all across the world, and we're looking forward to bringing our made-to-order, hand-crafted burgers to a community that is experiencing growth and high traffic visibility year around."
Pearll Investments LLC, and its sister company Leemaar Investment, are owned by Mr. Saif who owns and operates a multitude of restaurant companies in the Middle East and across the globe. The group has substantial experience in running successful brands across the globe, including restaurants located in the United States. The group was looking to grow its restaurant portfolio by partnering with a fast-casual partner and chose Smashburger for its menu diversity and upscale guest experience.
"Despite there being an ample number of fast-casual restaurants in this region, the industry has yet to reach its potential in United Arab Emirates and Qatar and we feel there is a huge opportunity for brands such as Smashburger," says Abdel Hameed, chairman of Pearll Investments. "Due to its focus on quality, taste, and wholesome ingredients, we are certain Smashburger will be a success and we look forward to bringing the fresh, smashed-to-order concept to the Arabic community and replicating the success of the brand internationally."
Smashburger has plans to open an additional 60–80 restaurants in 2016 including expansion across the globe and into new markets in the United States. The brand currently operates over 355 restaurants across the United States, Kuwait, Canada, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Smashburger is actively seeking partners to spread the global appetite for America's favorite food internationally in Europe, Asia, South America, and beyond. Smashburger is also seeking additional partners to help grow the presence in new markets in the United States.