Bonchon, which translates from Korean as “My Hometown,” has over the past year begun to offer a fast-casual version of the traditionally casual-dining fried chicken restaurant and plans to introduce a delivery-carry-out version later this year.
“Our franchise partners are the ones that really led us down this path,” said Flynn Dekker, Bonchon CEO since 2019, in this Nation’s Restaurant News interview. “They were the ones that were saying, ‘Hey, we see where the market is going. We like casual [dining], but I'd like to test fast-casual and would like to test it in a delivery-carryout-only model.”
The two fast-casual versions have opened in Addison, Texas, and Towson, Md.
Dekker said the fast-casual Bonchon units cover about 1,800 to 2,000 square feet and the delivery-carryout, or DelCo, version will range from 1,500 to 1,700 square feet.
In Datassential’s most recent Firefly 500-plus rankings, Bonchon rose from No. 235 in 2019 to No. 216 in 2020. Unit growth was about 10.2%. U.S. sales increased about 5.8% in the period.
VIG Partners, a private-equity firm based in Seoul, South Korea, acquired majority control of the company in December 2018.
South Korea-based Bonchon moved its U.S. headquarters from New York to Dallas in 2020. Bonchon has 109 units in the United States and about 350 globally.
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