Middle Eastern expansion is on the menu at BurgerFi International Inc.
The company has signed a multi-unit development agreement with Food Supplies Co. LLC to open six restaurants in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The agreement marks the second country BurgerFi is developing in the Middle East, where it operates two locations in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
"While our main focus is to grow from our dominant position as the market leader in Florida in the 'Better Burger' category and expand domestically to other states in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions — we anticipate we'll also pursue strategic opportunities both in other parts of the U.S. and countries beyond our borders," Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi, said in a company press release. "We currently operate in the Middle East and believe that we have selected the strongest partners to develop the brand in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
Thamer AlHathal, founder and CEO of Food Supplies Co, said his company was attracted to BurgerFi because its uses beef with no hormones, steroids or antibiotics.
"We have such a huge demand for this type of concept in Saudi Arabia and we know that BurgerFi will fill that void," he said in the release. "BurgerFi is an extremely fast-growing concept and we are excited to get ahead of the game and be part of this revolutionary restaurant and grow it in the Middle East. We created this food group — Food Supplies Co. — for the purpose to open BurgerFi's across Saudi Arabia and to offer locals a chance to enjoy the incredible food and experience this great brand has to offer. We see this as a long-term partnership and look forward to what the future holds."
BurgerFi's first Saudi Arabia multi-unit restaurant deal comes on the heels of BurgerFi going public last month. The first restaurant is expected to open in Burj Alfardan in Khobar City by fourth quarter of 2021 with the other five restaurants expected to open throughout Saudi Arabia over the next few years.
The partnership kicks off an enormous year of expansion for BurgerFi, which plans to open 25 additional locations in 2021. A store in West Boca, Florida, opened last week and two will open in the next month — one in Palm Beach Gardens and the other in Henderson, Nevada, a Las Vegas suburb.
Established in 2011, BurgerFi is among the nation's fastest-growing better burger concepts with approximately 125 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally.