Genghis Grill Leads DFW Restaurant Frenzy
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It takes its conquering nameseriously: Genghis Grill opened 22 locales last year with plans for another 14 in the first half of '13, including its first international store in Guatemala. And, there's one opening in DFW Airport Terminal E early '14. (If you're flying to Guatemala, that's two meals you don't have to plan.)
Genghis Grill Franchise Concepts CEO Al Bhakta(right, he also heads The Chalak Group)started out with a single Genghis franchise in Dallas in '02 before buying the concept in '04 and growing to 107 restaurants in 22 states. Here, he's withMetropolitan Capital Advisors'Sunny Sajnani and Chalak real estate gurus Ryan Eastman and Greg Blandford;Ryan and Greg do site selection and Sunny assists with structuring financing for their stores. Al and his three partners (COO Nik Bhakta, CFO Chet Bhakta, and CMO Ron Parikh) ran that first store themselves--while keeping their day jobs and irritating their wives--and didn't see one customer on their opening day. (Al's wife clearly didn't leave; they have a 5-month-old son,Sevan.)
The chain opened its first airport store in Charlotte last month. Al says it's part of efforts to grow in non-traditional markets.He says Genghis works well in suburbia with young families and good daytime population. Ideal markets:FriscoandPlano. And it already has a strong operator lined up in Mexico ifGuatemalaworks out.It's not the only restaurant The Chalak Group'sexpanding: after buying a 30-store KFC/Taco Bell porfolio in '11, it closed on 120 more stores over the summer. It also owns the Baker Brothers concept.