The Bonchon chicken chain is developing a fast-casual format and a delivery-and-takeout-only prototype while relocating its headquarters from New York City to Dallas, the franchisor announced Thursday.
Management said both moves are intended to facilitate the expansion of the chain, which specializes in Korean-style fried chicken. It currently consists of 106 units in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Another 250 branches are located in Asia and the Middle East.
The fast-casual prototype will fire up its fryers in February, in the Dallas suburb of Addison. Three or four more will open later in 2021, the franchisor said. One of those will sell meals exclusively for takeout and delivery.
The move to Dallas is expected to be completed by Jan. 1. Moving to the center of the nation from the East Coast will put the home office closer to its franchisees in the West and facilitate the brand’s expansion within Texas.
Dallas also affords a deep pool of executive and managerial restaurant talent. Chains already based there include Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, Dickey’s Barbecue, Which Wich, Wingstop, among a large number of others.
Bonchon is the latest chain to relocate to a city already abounding in restaurant operations. Chipotle Mexican Grill moved from Golden, Colo., to Newport Beach, Calif., and Papa John’s is in the process of shifting to Atlanta from its current headquarters in Louisville, Ky.
Bonchon said it has already hired 20 employees in Dallas. The chain said that New York employees will be given the option of relocating to the Texas city or working remotely in their current locations.