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Bobby Flay details franchise plan for new burger concept


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“We’re going full steam into the franchising and licensing business,” said Bobby Flay.

Mesa Grill, Gato, Bar Americain. These are some of the restaurants Bobby Flay has opened in his decades-long culinary career and, as he describes them, “they’re all high-end,” with per-person check averages hovering around $60. But it’s Flay’s love for a greasier, cheesier—and cheaper—menu item that inspired the concept he’s grown to 17 restaurants and counting.

“I’m really just a burger guy, that’s what I want to eat,” said Flay, speaking at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas in November. Cheeseburgers are what he craves after a long night in the kitchen and are at the core of Bobby’s Burger Palace, the restaurant he launched in 2008 and which is poised for rapid expansion following Flay’s announcement that he’s going to start franchising and licensing the fast-casual concept. That first licensing deal is already done, an agreement with Concessions International to open a Bobby’s Burger Palace location on Concourse B in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2018. “We’re going full steam into the licensing and franchising business,” says Flay, adding he expects the Atlanta airport location to do “$7-, $8-, $9 million annually.”

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