DENVER – Smashburger, which bills itself as the country’s fastest-growing “better burger” restaurant company, plans to more than double its size in 2010 by opening more than 60 stores as it spreads its fast-casual burger concept across the country.

During the first fiscal quarter ended March 28, the company opened 15 restaurants in 11 markets bringing its total stores to 58 and run rate system wide sales more than $60 million. By year’s end, Smashburger plans to have approximately 100 stores in more than 15 states. It will expand, with the help of franchise partners into Louisiana, Kentucky, North and South Dakota, and Florida; and, corporately the company will add Atlanta and the Chicago-land area.

“Smashburger enjoyed a very successful first fiscal quarter,” said David Prokupek, Smashburger chairman and chief executive officer. “Our same-store sales continued to be strong, our franchise partners and leadership team have done an excellent job shepherding and facilitating growth and our product speaks for itself.”

Smashburger said it fills the gap between low-priced fast-food burgers and their casual dining counterparts while providing a high-quality product with twice-a-week affordability.

In other news, Smashburger recently promoted Doug Branigan to senior vice president of franchise operations, Amy Weasler to director of franchise sales, and Greg Creighton to executive vice president of operations.

To support its growth in 2010, Smashburger plans to add senior leaders in supply chain and procurement, finance, franchise operations, franchise real estate and marketing focusing on maintaining its industry leadership.