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Bobby Flay Wants to Take His Burger Chain Global [Update]

The Food Network star is planning an IPO and a licensing program for Bobby's Burger Palace

Bobby’s Burger Palace/Facebook

UPDATE 7/17: Bobby’s Burger Palace is going public, the Wall Street Journal reports. Flay tells the WSJ he hopes to earn $15 million from selling shares in the company, which he intends to use to help fuel the chain’s expansion.

As the WSJ notes, the IPO news is somewhat of a departure for Flay in the sense that he has not sought outside investors for any of his other restaurants — but the chef clearly has lofty plans for BBP: Last week he announced that Bobby’s Burger Palace was launching a global licensing program to help expand the brand (see below). Currently, all but one of the outposts are company-owned.

Unfortunately for Flay, it seems highly unlikely that Bobby’s Burger Palace going public will generate the kind of buzz that Shake Shack’s 2015 IPO did: The stock price of the Danny Meyer-founded company more than doubled in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bobby Flay took a break from trying to unload his $7 million Manhattan condo this week to announce a licensing program for his eight-year-old chain Bobby’s Burger Palace. The veteran Food Network star tells NRN: “We think there is a very large opportunity to grow our licensing business globally, which we have not even yet touched.” Bobby’s Burger Palace serves burgers, fries, salads, and shakes. Guests end up spending around $13 on average per visit. Most of the restaurants are located on the East Coast, but BBP also has an outpost in Vegas.

Every die-hard Flayniac knows that the chef loves nothing more in life than “crunchifying” burgers by putting a layer of chips between the bun and the meat. At Flay’s chain, customers have the option of choosing from two varieties of signature Crunchburgers®, or they can request that those chips be crammed into any other sandwich on the menu at no extra charge.

Judging by the chain’s growth over the last few years, diners clearly share the chef’s love of rampant crunchification: Bobby’s Burger Palace now has 17 locations across the country, and the company reports a revenue of $34.3 million for the fiscal year 2016. Flay remarks: “We have been patient in developing the concept and have waited to grow more aggressively until we felt the concept and the business were ready.“ And now he’s eager to shove those chips in between burgers and buns all over the world.

Flay has not announced which markets he’s targeting next, but in addition to licensing his Bobby Burger Palaces to experienced restaurateurs, the celebrity chef will also likely keep growing the company-owned-and-operated side of this business, as well.

Bobby Flay is ready to license Bobby’s Burger Palace [NRN]
All Coverage of Expansions [E]

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