Korean Fried Chicken Coming to Michigan

Bonchon, the international restaurant brand from South Korea known for its signature Korean fried chicken, announced it has signed multi-location deals in Michigan and Ohio.
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The international South Korean restaurant brand Bonchon, which specializes in hand-brushed Korean Fried Chicken (pictured), is opening franchises in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, and Lansing. // Courtesy of Bonchon
The international South Korean restaurant brand Bonchon, which specializes in hand-brushed Korean Fried Chicken (pictured), is opening franchises in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, and Lansing. // Courtesy of Bonchon

Bonchon, the international restaurant brand from South Korea known for its signature Korean fried chicken, announced it has signed multi-location deals in Michigan and Ohio.

Founded in South Korea in 2002 and established in the United States in 2006, Bonchon, Korean for “my hometown,” is known for its crunchy, double-fried chicken.

“Bonchon has put an aggressive growth plan in place these past few years which includes our new fast-causal model. Franchise partners see the efficiency and profitability in this concept, and we are experiencing growing popularity in the model as 72 percent of the restaurants opening this year will be fast casual,” says Greg Buchanan, senior vice president of development at Bonchon.

The brand debuted a fast casual model earlier this year and has five new locations set to open in Michigan, including in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing, and Royal Oak. New franchisees Myung Song and Eunju Jeong has signed on to open three of the state’s five new locations.

The menu includes the signature Korean fried chicken topped with a choice soy garlic, spicy, or half-and-half sauce with either pickled radish or coleslaw on the side. It also features dished such as tteokbokki — or rice cakes simmered in spicy broth with fish cakes, scallions, and onions topped with mozzarella cheese and kimari.

The Bonchon wrap is another option that features bulgogi chicken and freshly sliced avocado on a bed of crisp lettuce and onions seasoned with buttermilk ranch dressing and spicy mayonnaise wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.

Bonchon states it has two-year sales growth of 18.3 percent, which is higher than all restaurant segments and cuisines, according to Blackbox Enterprises. To accommodate the growth, Bonchon has implemented new operational measures, including a standardized point-of-sale system, the launch of online ordering, and delivery integration through proprietary online ordering channels in partnership with DoorDash Drive.

The Ohio franchise partners Max Lie and Hong Zhong are 25-year industry veterans. The locations will be in Kenwood and Cincinnati.

“I was introduced to Bonchon when visiting family in New Jersey and was immediately interested. Bonchon’s corporate team has a proven track record with in-depth training programs and support systems in addition to marketing and advertising programs,” says Liu.

The international brand currently has more than 110 U.S. restaurants with franchises in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. It has over 370 locations worldwide.

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