Suzie Tsai announced as Bonchon's U.S. CEO

She appears to have been in the role since October, but now publicly takes the lead of U.S. operations. Former CEO Bryan Shin shifts to international growth.
With 130 units in the U.S., the franchise concept hopes to reach 500 across America within five years. |Photo: Shutterstock.

The Korean double-fried-chicken chain Bonchon has announced a new CEO of its U.S. division, even though she appears to have been in the job for a while.

On Tuesday, the Dallas-based chain announced that Suzie Tsai, who joined the company in August as chief growth officer, has been named U.S. CEO, replacing Bryan Shin in the role.

Shin, who was previously the chain’s CFO, had taken the CEO seat in May. With Tsai taking leadership of the U.S. division, Shin will focus on global expansion as International CEO and Group CFO.

Tsai, however, apparently quietly took the CEO seat in October of last year, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“It is an honor for me to lead Bonchon at this pivotal moment in its history and with a brand I feel personally connected,” said Tsai, in a statement. “Like Bonchon, I was born in South Korea and moved to America.”

Suzie Tsai

Suzie Tsai | Photo courtesy of Bonchon.

Before Tsai joined the brand, she was vice president of marketing for On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina. Her experience includes leadership roles at KidZania USA and Brinker International, including working with the Chili’s brand.

Bonchon was founded in Busan, South Korea in 2002 and first opened in the U.S. in New York City in 2006.

Last year was one of the strongest years of growth so far for Bonchon, with more than 40 locations signed in 2023, the company said. With 130 units in the U.S., the chain has a goal of reaching 500 locations in America and 1,000 locations worldwide within five years.

Globally, the Bonchon chain now includes 430 locations across nine countries, including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, France and Vietnam, with agreements signed in Spain and Taiwan.

New markets in the U.S. this year will include south Florida, Little Rock, Ark., Tucson, Ariz., and Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Bonchon continues to evolve and strengthen critical elements in our offerings, from menu and technology, to store formats that reach our customers when and where they get that one-of-a-kind Bonchon craving,” Tsai continued in the statement. “We look forward to breaking into new territories and exploring possibilities in the years to come.”


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