US-based fast-casual restaurant chain BurgerFi is set to accelerate its expansion strategy this year with a 30% surge in new restaurant openings across the country.

The chain, which posted its preliminary Q4 financial results this week, said it intends to launch 30 to 35 company and franchise-operated restaurants this year and a total of 40 to 45 locations next year.

BurgerFi expanded its footprint last year with the addition of 11 new units. The chain has opened four new units since 1 December 2020, including its first drive-thru.

BurgerFi executive chairman Ophir Sternberg said: “While this past year was challenging for the entire restaurant industry, it has been a tremendous year of growth for BurgerFi as they have just gone public.”

Sternberg further said: “BurgerFi has seen incredible success with delivery sales up over 120% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. BurgerFi is poised to expand its brick and mortar restaurants nationally by 30% this year and has amped up in ghost kitchens plans as well.”

BurgerFi presently expects total revenue of $9m for the quarter ended 31 December 2020, as against $8.9m during the same quarter last year.

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In a separate development, US-based online restaurant technology and food ordering platforms iMenu360, Ordering999, and Websites999 have merged to establish a new online ordering platform.

Dubbed Ordering360, the combined entity is expected to offer restaurants a broader range of services, including marketing services, data retention, contactless ordering and payment solutions, custom mobile app and gift card programme among others.

Ordering360 CEO and co-founder Mike Rosenbloom said: “Our mission is simple, we want to help local restaurants survive and thrive by providing a one-stop shop for every need imaginable. We aim to keep restaurants operating and profitable while providing a safe and enjoyable experience for their customers.”

Separately, CrunchTime! Information Systems, which provides back-of-house operations platform for the restaurant industry, has acquired DiscoverLink for an unknown sum.

The acquired company is a provider of restaurant-focused e-learning solutions.

CrunchTime president and founder Bill Bellissimo remarked that partnership joins two companies with complementary offerings, and a shared passion for driving great outcomes for the hospitality industry.

The combined entity will be able to offer an end-to-end ‘Performance Management Platform’ that will help companies optimise their food and beverage operations.

This platform will also offer an integrated suite of talent management tools that will support the ongoing training and professional enrichment of every team members.