BurgerFi Jets Into First Airport Location
Non-traditional is the new black in franchising, as more restaurant and retail brands are finding new places with guaranteed foot traffic: transit stations, airports, stadiums and college campuses to name a few. BurgerFi is the latest to hop on this train with the upcoming opening of its first non-traditional location at Terminal One at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
HMSHost will handle the operations of the BurgerFi location. As it moves forward with its accelerating expansion, the company anticipates additional deals in this vein in the future.
“We are excited to develop our first BurgerFi airport location with HMSHost, an established leader in the foodservice industry, which adds immense value to our growing franchise network,” said Corey Winograd, chief executive officer of BurgerFi. “Over the past five years, the efforts of our dedicated corporate team and franchisees have propelled BurgerFi from a regional brand to a national, industry leader, poised for strategic growth, and we look forward to accelerating this momentum."
HMSHost provides food and beverage services for 120 airports throughout the globe and 99 motorways in North America. The new BurgerFi at the Florida airport’s Terminal One has an anticipated opening date of May 31.
This year, BurgerFi plans to open approximately 20 new restaurants, and is targeting Virginia, Washington D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and New York for domestic expansion.
I’ve previously reported on several other brands taking the non-traditional route, and it’s easy to see why this trend has officially gone mainstream. It’s now the exception to the norm if a restaurant interview doesn’t include a non-traditional location plan.
The benefits for franchisors include guaranteed foot traffic, smaller spaces, less overhead and, ideally, lower expenses that are ideal for taking brands to new markets. On the flip side, risks include handing over operations to third parties, which is HMSHost in this instance.
As a longtime proponent of franchisors looking at more urban locations, this is a great trend that should benefit all of us weary travelers looking for better options wherever life takes us. Now all we need are post office, DMV and medical clinic locations to truly be covered.
I’ll be waiting, and hungry.