The Crunch Heard Around the World: Bonchon Looks to Continue Reaching Major Milestones in 2022
U.S.-Based Korean Fried Chicken Brand Is One of the Fastest-Growing Restaurant Brands With a 27 Percent Increase in Average Unit Volume* Over the Last Four Years
January 14, 2022 // Franchising.com // DALLAS - Bonchon, the popular global restaurant concept known for its flavorful Korean fried chicken, celebrates a year filled with new market expansion and growth, positive sales figures, a new fast casual model and a country’s love for Korean fried chicken.
Recognized as one of the top franchise brands to watch, Bonchon is heading into 2022 with rapid franchise growth plans to add new locations with the help of multi-unit operators in thoughtfully selected growth markets. First establishing itself in the U.S. in 2006, the global franchise has been spreading its reach across the country with no indication of slowing down. The brand has confirmed new development agreements covering Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, New York, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas – with Tennessee being a first-time market.
“Bonchon has achieved another year of high growth, record sales and we’ve been honored with several industry accolades,” said Flynn Dekker, CEO of Bonchon. “Our brand would not be where it is today without the hard work and perseverance of our team and franchise partners. As we move ahead and look at the next five years, we’re making ongoing strategic shifts in operations, the supply chain and technological innovation in order to remain on the current growth trajectory. 2022 is going to be an exciting year for Bonchon for many reasons, but especially because we’ll also be celebrating our 20th anniversary.”
Despite continued industry challenges as a result of the pandemic, Bonchon remained an outlier with strong sales performance throughout 2021 – registering a 15 percent same store sales increase as compared to 2020. According to Black Box Intelligence™ data, Bonchon has consistently outperformed all other segments and cuisines in its two year metrics (2021 vs. 2019) with positive 23% same store sales as of Dec. 25, 2021. The growing empire of 115-plus units across the U.S. also opened 11 new locations in 2021, with plans to open 30 in 2022. In total, Bonchon has 385-plus units worldwide including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, Australia and Vietnam.
New technologies and streamlined operations have contributed largely to the brand’s performance. This features enhancements such as a standardized POS system, a partnership with DoorDash and online ordering – digital orders accounted for nearly half of Bonchon’s sales in 2021 as opposed to 11.7% prior to 2020. Additional franchise support has been driven by the integration of new experienced team members and Field Business Consultants who provide guidance on best practices, customers service, food quality and menu strategy.
“Our brand has rapidly evolved since arriving in the U.S. in 2006 and the dedication we have to upholding our unique cooking style has helped us become one of the fastest growing brands in the space,” said Dekker. “We want to keep building on our momentum with partners who want to grow and reach new highs alongside us.”
As its unwavering commitment to strategic expansion continues, multi-unit operators have placed a high priority on adding Bonchon into their portfolios. An ideal Bonchon franchise candidate has restaurant experience, is dedicated to operational excellence and maintains a commitment to customer service and product quality.
Bonchon, which translates from Korean to English as “my hometown,” is known for its signature Korean fried chicken that is hand battered and double-fried to achieve its signature, crave-worthy crunch. Every piece of chicken is hand brushed to make each bite perfectly flavorful. Born in Busan, South Korea in 2002, Bonchon’s founder Jinduk Seo dreamed of sharing his favorite flavors with the world. In 2006, U.S. fans were able to Crunch Out Loud with the global sensation as the brand continued to expand across the country.
For information on franchising with Bonchon, visit franchising.bonchon.com.
Bonchon is a global restaurant brand known for distinctive Korean double-fried chicken, Asian fusion cuisine, and Korean specialties. Born in Busan, South Korea in 2002, the concept was established in the heart of New York City in 2006. Bonchon sets out to have its fans “Crunch Out Loud” by sharing the joy of hand-battered, double-fried, crazy crispy Korean fried chicken with the world.
The brand has earned several accolades – it was recognized by Business Insider as “the gold standard for fried chicken” as well as included on Nation’s Restaurant News 2021 “Top 500 Restaurants”, Fast Casual Magazine’s 2021 “Top 100 Movers & Shakers” and Entrepreneur’s 2021 “Franchise 500 List.”
About Black Box Intelligence™
Black Box Intelligence™ is the leading performance benchmarking provider for the restaurant industry connecting the dots on people, profits and performance. Their unparalleled data set reveals insight into financial, workforce, guest and consumer trends from over 300 brands and 87,000 restaurant units. Black Box Intelligence is also the producer of The Best Practices Conference held annually in Dallas, Texas.
*Based on 103 restaurants open and operating a full 12 months as of year ended 12/31/21. Excluded from the “Mature Franchised Restaurants” definition and the financial performance representation are those franchised Bonchon Restaurants that operated for less than twelve (12) months in the reported calendar year (whether as a result of the franchised Bonchon Restaurant (i) commencing operations in the midst of the reported calendar year, (ii) temporarily closing for a portion of the reported year for more than 14 consecutive days or operating less than 300 days (whether due to COVID-19 or otherwise) or (iii) permanently closing after the start of the reported calendar year).
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