Suzie Tsai has been named the U.S. chief executive officer of Bonchon, a franchiser of distinctive Korean fried chicken that plans to bring its restaurants to new markets this year, including southern Florida, Little Rock, Arkansas, Tucson, Arizona, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Bonchon moved its global headquarters to Dallas in 2021.
Bonchon said Tsai joined the company in 2023 as chief growth officer and brings over 25 years of marketing and branding leadership experience with major brands including On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, Chili’s Grill & Bar, KidZania, and Verizon. Bryan Shin will focus on global expansion as international CEO and group CFO, the company said.
In a recent statement, Bonchon’s new CEO expressed honor in guiding the brand through a significant phase in its history, highlighting a personal connection to the brand. “It is an honor for me to lead Bonchon at this pivotal moment in its history and with a brand I feel personally connected. Like Bonchon, I was born in South Korea and moved to America,” said Tsai.
Tsai says the company continues to evolve and strengthen the critical elements in its offerings from menu and technology to store formats.
“We look forward to breaking into new territories and exploring possibilities in the years to come,” Tsai said.
Founded in Busan, South Korea in 2002, Bonchon opened in the U.S. in New York City in 2006 and is on its way to growing from 130 to 500 U.S. locations and 1,000 locations worldwide in the next five years.
The company said that 2023 saw continued expansion within existing markets such as Chicago, Colorado Springs, Denver, Houston, Nashville, New York City, Raleigh, and Washington, D.C., with record-breaking openings in Smyrna, Georgia and White Plains, New York showing consistent performance beyond forecasted projections.
Internationally, Bonchon said it debuted its first restaurant in France in 2023, with Spain and Taiwan recently signing on for future openings.
Bonchon said it has strategically evolved its variety of restaurant formats to enable franchise partners to open locations best positioned to succeed in their local markets. In addition to traditional full dining and fast casual options as well as recent openings in malls and food courts, Bonchon said it launched its first two ghost kitchens and first hotel location in 2023, with its airport debut slated for 2025.
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