• Smashburger wraps up year with 36 percent new unit growth

In the close of a successful year of growth, Smashburger added 58 new locations globally in 2012, comprised of 17 corporate locations and 41 new franchised locations, according to a company press release. Those openings represent a 36-percent total new unit growth over 2011, with a total count of 193 restaurants.

Smashburger has not only continued to build upon its success in the United States, but has expanded nationally making an international debut with restaurant openings in Calgary, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica, said David Prokupek, chairman and CEO.

"We are very excited about the record growth we have had over the past year with Smashburger and the fact that we have gone internationally," he said.

Looking ahead to 2013, Smashburger is targeting 30-percent unit growth, with the addition of 50 to 60 restaurant openings. This year's franchising strategy has placed a strong focus on "co-development" markets, which offers franchise opportunities in markets where the brand currently operates corporate restaurants. Co-development markets that are currently available to franchise include Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Toronto.

Additionally, Smashburger is seeking franchise partnerships in the top 50 markets, including Boston, Seattle, Portland, Pittsburgh and Orlando, Fla., and to further develop the brand internationally, in multiple Canadian territories including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, as well as Central America, the United Kingdom and Asia.

"Since the launch of Smashburger in 2007, our vision has been to grow the brand into the best, most innovative burger concept in the industry," Prokupek said. "Over the past year we have continued to execute that goal, entering new markets and attracting top franchise partners to join our team and help grow our successful fast casual model. As we look to build upon our brand's momentum in 2013, we see plenty of runway for more restaurant locations."

Read more about growth.

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