The Better Burger Boom is still going strong, with franchises and chains exploding across landscape after landscape like some sort of fast-growing plant life that tastes juicy and delicious. Today, the burger chain making waves is Smashburger. Yesterday the Denver-based better burger franchise announced a partnership with two restaurant businesses in the Middle East, who have plans to expand the brand into Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
According to Huffington Post, Smashburger head of franchising Doug Branigan stated that restaurant operators had been approaching him to partner on expansion efforts in the region for quite some time. "There's tremendous interest in American brands throughout the Middle East," he said.
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Smashburger has ultimately decided to work with two restaurant operators within the Persian Gulf at the moment. Georgetown Associates, based out of Bahrain, will be responsible for opening outposts through Bahrain as well as Kuwait. Meanwhile Saudi operator Al Musbah has been tasked with developing eight Smashburger airport concessions throughout Saudia Arabia before 2020.
Smashburger’s biggest competition in the region will be Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, which currently has outlets in Kuwait City and Dubai. But Branigan told HuffPo that, rather than competition, he see’s Shake Shack’s success in the region as a good sign that Smashburger will be able to achieve something similar. “We see ourselves being in much the same space as Shake Shack," he told the publication. "We both serve great fresh-made burgers, though I think we complement them with a broader menu than they do… We think Shake Shack is a great brand and we're enthusiastic about their success in the region.”