Fatburger isn’t just fat in name – its global reach is also widening like a waistline. While it already has locations in North America, Asia, and the Middle East, the California-based cult classic burger chain is looking to expand still further. This week Fatburger announced its plans to expand its holdings in China and move into the new markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
That the franchise would be planning to expand in Asia isn’t too surprising – many U.S. chains have been finding success overseas as consumers in the region’s growing middle class develop a taste for Western notions like burgers and pizza. Of course, it’s difficult to expand in another region alone.
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For this undertaking, Beverly Hills-based private equity firm Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc (of which Fatburger is a subsidiary) has joined forces with Chinese investment bank and asset management firm Puji Capital Limited. According to an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, both Fog Cutter and Puji see this move as a gateway to growth for the burger franchise:
Andrew Wiederhorn, Fog Cutter’s chair and chief executive, said Puji is an investment advisor to some of the wealthiest families in China and neighboring countries, who also own much of the shopping centers and retail trade areas. “We are very excited about this strategic partnership with Puji Capital, their network of powerful Asian families and look forward to a long-lasting and successful relationship,” he said.
Puji Capital saw Fatburger as “the best burger brand to grow in China for their clients,” Wiederhorn added.
According to the report, if everything goes to plan Fatburger will have 150 locations by the end of this year – and nearly half of them will be international. What’s more, the business has designs on building 225 more locations in development with plans to grow its current business in the Middle East and expand throughout Canada, Korea, North Africa, the UK, and Pakistan.