US-based fast-casual restaurant chain BurgerFi International has signed a multi-unit development agreement with Food Supplies to open six restaurants in Saudi Arabia.

The company plans to open its first Saudi Arabian restaurant in Burj Alfardan in Khobar City by the fourth quarter of this year.

The other five restaurants are expected to be opened throughout Saudi Arabia over the next few years.

The agreement follows the BurgerFi’s IPO last month and marks the brand’s expansion to the second Middle East country. Currently, the company has two locations in Kuwait.

BurgerFi CEO Julio Ramirez said: “While our main focus is to grow from our dominant position as the market leader in Florida in the ‘Better Burger’ category and expand domestically to other states in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions – we anticipate we’ll also pursue strategic opportunities both in other parts of the US and countries beyond our borders.

“We currently operate in the Middle East and believe that we have selected the strongest partners to develop the brand in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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Saudi Arabia-based Food Supplies is led by founder and CEO, Thamer AlHathal, and director of operations and partner, Waleed Naif AlHathal.

Commenting on the deal, AlHathal noted that BurgerFi is ‘an extremely fast-growing concept and the company is excited to grow it in the Middle East’.

AlHathal added: “We were very attracted to BurgerFi from the start because of their quality in food – especially that they use beef that is free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics – and the strong foundation in the company and their team. We have such a huge demand for this type of concept in Saudi Arabia and we know that BurgerFi will fill that void.”

In addition to its expansion plans in the Middle East, BurgerFi also plans to open 25 additional locations in the US this year.

It includes the brand’s second drive-thru location in Henderson, featuring its newest drive-thru prototype.

Founded in 2011, BurgerFi is a hormone-free and antibiotic-free burger concept.

Last October, the company expanded its menu with the introduction of a new spicy chicken sandwich.