Bobby Flay is ready for worldwide expansion of his fast-casual Bobby’s Burger Palace, or BBP, chain, the chef and restaurateur said Wednesday.
BBP Global Holdings announced the launch of a global licensing program with the goal of expanding locations for the Flay-created burger brand around the world, including new markets in the U.S.
Flay debuted BBP in 2008 in New York as a concept that would be accessible to all, with premium made-to- order burgers —including the signature Crunchburger with potato chips layered in with toppings. Also on the menu are salads, hand-cut fries, shakes, and, where it makes sense, beer, wine and alcohol-spiked shakes in some locations.
The chain has grown to 17 units in nine states and the District of Columbia. Of those 16 are company owned and one is licensed at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Units are typically around 3,500 square feet, though they can go down to 2,500 square feet, he said. The average check is roughly $12.50 to $13 per person, though prices vary by market.
Flay said the chain’s systemwide revenue was $34.3 million in fiscal 2016. Over the past nine years, Flay said the company has perfected the concept to prepare it for expansion.
“I have spent the last nine years perfecting Bobby’s Burger Palace,” he said in a statement. “We have been patient in developing the concept and have waited to grow more aggressively until we felt the concept and the business were ready. “
In an emailed interview, Flay added that the global market is more than $100 billion, “and we think now is an ideal time to expand into attractive markets looking for a better-burger concept with the global brand recognition of Bobby’s Burger Palace.”
Flay, however, did not say where he was interested in taking the brand.
“We will qualify markets as they are presented to us,” he said. The company is looking for experienced, multi-unit operators willing to build out large territories. Selective company-owned unit growth will also continue, as opportunities come up.
“We think there is a very large opportunity to grow our licensing business globally, which we have not even yet touched,” he said.
Flay is known in the U.S. for his television appearances on shows like “Iron Chef” and “Bobby Flay’s BBQ Addiction” and “Beat Bobby Flay.”
His full-service restaurants include Bar Americain in New York and Connecticut, Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City, N.J., Gato in New York, and Mesa Grill in Las Vegas.
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