The deal will rapidly grow the Fatburger brand throughout the greater China region
The parent of the Fatburger chain has joined forces with a Shanghai-based investment bank to aggressively expand the burger brand in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc. said last week it has signed a partnership with Puji Capital Limited, a boutique investment bank and asset management firm, which will be the exclusive partner for identifying real estate and finding franchise partners for Fatburger. Under the agreement, the company expects to aggressively expand the Fatburger chain by hundreds of locations over the next several years.
Currently, there are four Fatburger units open in the region: three franchise locations in Beijing, which will continue to expand under the existing franchise partner, and one corporate unit in Macau.
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.
Fatburger will end the year with 150 locations worldwide, about half of which are international units, and Wiederhorn said another 225 are in development. Outside the U.S., the Fatburger brand is operating in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Korea, Indonesia, China and Macau.
In addition to expansion in China, Taiwan and Singapore, Wiederhorn said the chain is looking to grow in other countries, including more nations in the Middle East, the United Kingdom North Africa and Pakistan.
Fog Cutter also owns and is growing the Buffalo’s Café chain, a bar-and-grill concept based in Atlanta. Wiederhorn said the company has developed an express version of the full-service brand that will be called Buffalo’s Express, offeringwings and fries. The first express location is scheduled to open in Los Angeles this fall.
A full-service Buffalo’s Café is also scheduled to open in Palmdale, Calif., this fall, and Fog Cutter is growing the brand around Atlanta and in the Middle East with franchisee agreements signed for five locations in Qatar, one in Bahrain and another in Saudi Arabia.
Wiederhorn said Fog Cutter has also acquired the franchising rights for the Ricky’s All Day Grill brand, with about 75 locations in Canada and which the company also plans to grow overseas.