US family-dining concept Black Bear Diner has partnered with its existing franchisees to expand in California and Texas.

A multi-unit development agreement has been signed with Karan Gogri and Sanjiv Patel of National Restaurant to open additional 19 units over a six-year period.

Black Bear Diner co-founder and CEO Bruce Dean said: “As we execute upon our plans to expand eastward, we will continue to seek out well qualified, committed multi-unit franchise partners who share our core beliefs and values.”

As part of the agreement, the restaurant will have new locations at San Diego, Marin areas of California and Texas this year.

The brand’s Texas expansion will see opening of new locations at Austin and San Antonio for the first time.

Gogri, who currently owns two Black Bear Diner locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, and his college classmates will oversee the daily operations under the new development agreement.

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Gogri added: “As the son of restaurant franchise owners, I have grown up in this industry and have long valued the opportunities that come from identifying the right brand to partner with.

“Sanjiv and I have found this in Black Bear Diner, a brand that serves up exceptional food and strong values, and as a result has provided tremendous opportunity for us, along with several of our classmates from U.C. Santa Barbara who are now devoting their professional lives to growing this great brand as a part of our franchise group.”

Established in 1995 in Mt. Shasta, California, Black Bear Diner currently operates 106 locations in nine western US states and offers home-style food classics and personal service to diners in a bear-themed atmosphere.

The restaurant opened its first Oklahoma location in December 2017.