BurgerFi CEO begins making moves to evolve better-burger brand

The Florida-based chain acquired two franchise units and is plotting a return to Manhattan. Also, the fries will be improved.
New CEO Carl Bachmann is promising to improve the menu to turnaround negative same-store sales. | Photo courtesy of BurgerFi.

It has only been about 90 days since Carl Bachmann took the helm at BurgerFi International, but the new CEO is making some moves.

On Tuesday, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based chain said it will acquire two of its franchised restaurants in Florida, which the company described as a step in the 114-unit chain’s evolution.

With the two restaurants, in Hallandale Beach and Miami Beach, the company now operates 27 corporate restaurants, all in its home state. Another 87 are franchised.

“By defining the BurgerFi portfolio and strengthening our foundation, we recognized an opportunity for growth in our backyard,” said Bachmann in a statement. “Operating these restaurants in highly trafficked, popular tourist spots in south Florida is a strategic move to solidify our presence in core markets.”

Last week, BurgerFi also said it plans to return to New York City in December.

The chain said it will reopen a flagship location in the city’s Upper East Side, which will be re-introduced as the Better Burger Lab, where guests will be able to find limited-edition offerings not available elsewhere.

A native New Yorker, Bachmann said reopening that location was a “personal passion point” for him.

“In a city that never sleeps, we will have a late-night menu to make sure we are meeting the needs of our guests. Innovating around food quality and taste is a key win for BurgerFi and we’re no stranger to it. We value our guests and want to give them the power to help decide what’s on our menu.”

The restaurant, which will also serve alcohol, will be a venue for special events, including exclusive tasting opportunities for loyalty members in the area. BurgerFi also has locations in Brooklyn and Long Island.

Earlier this month, BurgerFi lost a prominent board member with Martha Stewart stepping down after two and a half years on the board.

The company, which also owns Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, reported same-store sales down 10% for BurgerFi during the July-ended second quarter.

But Bachmann, who stepped into the CEO role in July, said the chain is working on improving some core menu offerings, including its chicken sandwiches and milkshakes.

“Perhaps the most important opportunity is in fixing the French fries, which currently accounts for a large number of customer complaints and is as simple as changing processes in the kitchen,” he said during company earnings in August.


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