Finnish burger-bar chain Friends & Brgrs has reached its goal of raising approximately 1 million € though a crowdfunding campaign, and has done so much more quickly than it had expected.
The chain—which operates four locations in Finland and one in Copenhagen, Denmark—announced the public sale of shares through Finnish online investment platform Invesdor earlier this month. The goal was to raise money for expansion by Dec. 20, 2016, but the offering was fully subscribed within one week. In total, 40,000 shares were sold to investors in eight countries.
“Many restaurant chains choose to franchise, but we want to partner up with people who share our passion for burgers. That’s why we now [gave] fans the opportunity to become owners,” Friends & Brgrs CEO Peter Fagerholm said in announcing the completion of the offering. “At the same time we also want to maintain control over the quality and the customer service.”
Friends & Brgrs—which labels its niche as “fresh casual”—intends to open two to three new locations a year and to increase sales threefold within three years.
The menu includes seven adult burgers and a kids burger meal. The basic Friends Brgr Meal combo (with fries and soft drink is 11.50 € ($12.32).Other choices include a Chèvre (goat cheese) Brgr Meal (12.50 €), Aïoli Brgr Meal 11.50 €), Vegan Brgr Meal (11.50 €) and Cheese & Onion Brgr Meal (11.50 €).
“There’s a strong burger trend in Europe, and we’re convinced there’s a demand for our concept. Our way of making burgers and fries has attracted a lot of attention. We make the food from the best ingredients available, and for the most part completely without the use of additives. This way we get the best possible taste,” said Fagerholm.
Friends & Brgrs isn’t the first to go this route to raise expansion capital, of course. BurgerBusiness.com in 2014 reported on British restaurateur Tom Reaney’s effort to raise £30,000 through Kickstarter to transform his Burger Bear pop-up burger stand into one permanently housed in two stacked used cargo containers.
More on Expansion: “Top Chef” alum Spike Mendolsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery burger chain will be serving breakfast for the first time when its latest unit opens Thursday (Nov. 17, 2016) in Washington, D.C.’s Ronald Reagan National Airport.
Operated by OHM Concession Group, the Reagan National location will be the D.C.-based concept’s sixth store. The breakfast menu (available until 10 a.m.) features three breakfast sandwiches, all served on toasted brioche buns: The $6.75 Eggstraordinaire (fried egg, American cheese and choice of applewood-smoked bacon or local turkey sausage); the $6.95 Good Start (fried egg, American Cheese, avocado and slice of tomato); and the $6.75 Healthy Greek (egg whites, red onions, tomato, Kalamata olives, fresh herbs and feta cheese).
A Spike’s Sunnyside Burger ($8.40) will be available mornings. It’s a 1/3-lb. beef patty with American cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, a fried egg and house Good Stuff Sauce.
Other a.m. offerings are hot or cold-brew coffee from Compass Coffee, a Greek yogurt parfait, fruit cups and a Sunny’s Homefry & Onions dish.
And still more: Flint, Mich.-based Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers has its first franchisee. The restaurant will open Nov. 21, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.’s Mall St. Matthews. The company opened a corporate location in Lexington, Ky., in 2015 and is seeking franchisees across Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan. It was included in BurgerBusiness.com’s “14 Burger Concepts to Watch in 2014” feature. I interviewed President-Founder Brent Skaggs in 2013.
“We’re excited about this location not just because it’s the first franchise, but because we think this will be a great example of how versatile the Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers brand will be,” Skaggs said of the new mall location. “This concept easily adapts to free-standing locations, strip-center units and concession-style store fronts for malls, airports and other large venues.”
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