Operations

First streetside Bobby's Burgers to debut in Charlotte, N.C.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay's burger concept is franchising, and this single corporate location will serve as an innovation lab and training center.
Bobby's Burgers
This corporate location in Charlotte, N.C. is scheduled to open in mid-May or June. | Rendering courtesy of Intelligration Capital.

The first streetside format of Bobby Flay’s fast-casual burger concept is close to fruition.

Intelligration Capital, the company awarded the global franchising rights to the celebrity chef’s burger brand, plans to unveil a flagship corporate location in Charlotte, N.C. this spring, likely in mid-May or early June. The location will also serve as a test kitchen for Flay, where he will develop new recipes, as well as a training center for franchisees.

“We are continuously looking for new ways to enhance our franchise offering, and opening this flagship restaurant in our own backyard is the next step along that journey—ensuring that each franchisee gets the kind of personalized training and support we promise every member of the Bobby’s Burgers family,” said Michael McGill, president of Bobby’s Burgers, who also heads the Intelligration team.

Bobby's Burger

A rendering of the interior of the sole corporate location of Bobby's Burgers. | Rendering courtesy of Intelligration Capital.

Intelligration said it has secured multi-unit agreements for franchising the brand in Colorado, Illinois and North Carolina, though the number of units were not specified. Seven locations of the burger brand operate in nontraditional locations, the most recent opening at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Including the flagship in Charlotte, the company expects six locations to open in 2024.

Last year, Well Done Hospitality Group said it had signed on to bring the brand to Chicago, and a unit is coming later this year to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in an agreement with Grove Bay Concessions. In Colorado, a Fuzzy’s Taco franchise operator, Rogers Restaurant Group, is planning to open the Bobby’s Burgers brand in Denver.

Intelligration last year indicated it envisioned 500 units opening over seven years across the country.

This limited-service variation is different from the full-service Bobby’s Burger Palace. The smaller and more-efficient Bobby’s Burgers will be positioned to compete more with concepts like Shake Shack, BurgerFi or Five Guys.

Bobby's Burger Interior

The Charlotte unit will serve as an innovation lab and training center for franchisees. | Rendering courtesy of Bobby's Burgers.

The franchise concept has also attracted some industry veterans as backers. An investor and board member is former Bloomin’ Brands CEO Bill Allen, and the board is chaired by Dan Beem, CEO of Hissho Sushi.

The Charlotte unit will include as an investor local restaurateur Frank Scibelli, whose FS Food Group operates concepts like Calle Sol, Little Mama’s, YAFO Kitchen and Midwood Smokehouse.

Flay, of course, is known for his restaurants Amalfi, Bobby Flay Steak and Brasserie B, as well as the many TV appearances, such as “Throwdown,” “Boy Meets Grill,” and “Beat Bobby Flay.”

The Bobby’s Burger menu will include seven burgers based on Flay’s recipes—any of which can be Crunchified with a potato chip topping—including a fried chicken sandwich and a veggie burger (using a winning recipe from “Beat Bobby Flay”). Sides include buttermilk onion rings, sweet potato fries and bacon cheese fries, as well as shakes and a breakfast menu that will be available until 11 a.m.

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