Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Back Yard Burgers seeks a return to Charlotte

A burger franchise that left Charlotte during the recession is looking to make a comeback locally, Back Yard Burgers CEO Dave McDougall said.

"Charlotte is a market that we obviously had some good presence," McDougall said. "Unfortunately, some things didn't go so well for our franchise operator so we're not there now."

The company has restaurants in Raleigh and Greenville, S.C. Back Yard Burgers was battered by the recession, and went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company emerged in 2013 with plans to start growing again.

Now, McDougall said he plans a "concerted push" to get Back Yard back in Charlotte, hopefully within a year.

"It's really about finding the right operator to get that brand going again," said McDougall.

You might have noticed that the Charlotte burger scene isn't exactly hurting for new entrants. From Five Guys to Smashburger, the fast-casual segment of burger restaurants has grown rapidly in recent years. Some local eateries, such as Nom Nom Burgers, have closed their doors, while others, like Bad Daddy's, have flourished.

McDougall said Back Yard's wide range of menu options, which also include chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers and salads, will help distinguish it, as will ingredients such as candied bacon and a drive-thru at every store.