Bridging Culture Worldwide’s CEO Don Southerton Talks Habit Burger Grill’s Entry Into Korea

Habit Burger, a California-based fast-food chain is setting its sights on delivering its tasty offerings to South Korea.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and handcrafted sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh, made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes, and malts.

It currently has over 265 restaurants in 12 states throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, as well as six international locations.

Don Southerton, Bridging Culture Worldwide’s Founder and CEO talks about bringing the award-winning chain to South Korea.

Why did you choose South Korea?
We targeted South Korea for a number of reasons—Koreans appreciate quality food and enjoy the fast-casual experience, Korea’s strategic location in Asia-Pacific, and the nation’s growing importance in international business and cultural circles. We look to connect with the right potential Korean development partners. We are optimistic about our plans for the Korean marketplace.
What makes The Habit Burger Grill something that will appeal to South Koreans?
We believe South Koreans will appreciate all that Habit Burger has to offer. South Korea has repeatedly embraced premium Western brands and Habit fits the mold. We feel with our distinctive fresh off the grill Charburger, unique sandwiches, fresh salads, and other menu items, along with great service that the brand will be well accepted.

Image: Habit Burger Grill

What separates The Habit Burger Grill from the others?
The Habit is known for its award-winning Charburger which features 100% fresh, never frozen ground beef grilled over an open flame and topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, and mayo served on a toasted bun. Not to mention our restaurants have been serving the Best Tasting Burger in America exactly this way since the first Habit opened in 1969.
Better burgers are just the beginning at The Habit where the menu also includes hand-cut salads, grilled sandwiches including line-caught, sushi-grade ahi tuna, fresh chicken, and hand-filleted marinated grilled tri-tip, and sides including onion rings, sweet potato and French fries, and tempura green beans. Guests can choose from a variety of peppers, lemons, limes, and sauces at a complimentary condiment bar to customize the flavor of their meal.
What is the target market here?
The Habit Burger Grill appeals to almost everyone. We will be targeting “burger lovers” of all ages including young people, families, singles and women and men alike. Our experience in the United States and internationally is that the brand is universally appealing.
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