The United States is about to get a bit of Kiwi love in its burger market with BurgerFuel announcing today it was going ahead with its US expansion plans.
The New Zealand burger chain has said it will open its first BurgerFuel store in the US in the Midwest - based on where it said it saw potential for the brands success.
Chief executive Josef Roberts said the company would provide more details as soon as possible but its US-based development team were located in Indianapolis with a focus on opening the first restaurant in that region.
"We are confident that we will get something off the ground in America soon and that our goal of opening in the USA will still be fulfilled," Roberts said.
"Let's not forget we have a strong business, no debt and a significant amount of knowledge about doing business in the USA which frankly has been necessary to understand."
The announcement coincides with the news that BurgerFuel has ended its collaboration agreement with Subway and Franchise Brands following the death of its founder Fred DeLuca, almost a year ago.
The company said it would continue to maintain a close relationship with the group which still has a ten per cent holding in BurgerFuel as well as a position on its board.
"The passing last year of Subway founder, Fred de Luca, our key contact within the organisation and the ultimate vision behind the partnership, has meant that Franchise Brands and Subway's priorities have had to change," Roberts said.
"It is clear that for now they have their own challenges. Given this situation we felt that it would be best to seek an end to the operating partnership, which if not in full swing, only delays us from developing in the United States."
The company requested a release from its agreement which has now been granted. Roberts said while the outcome wasn't what the company wanted, it had to be adaptable to the circumstances.
"I can say that after all this time, we are pleased to be free to be moving forward with certainty," Roberts said. "The US is a big place and we still see many opportunities for BurgerFuel."
Roberts said the company had learnt a lot about doing business in the US through its partnership and also about running a successful franchise in the market.
The partnership had also helped BurgerFuel establish connections in the US which he said would benefit the company significantly moving forward.