DENVER – Smashburger announced the grand opening of its first Saudi Arabia location. Located in the capital city of Riyadh, the new restaurant is an international “flagship store” for the Smashburger brand. Totaling approximately7,700 sq. ft., it is the largest location Smashburger has opened globally.

The Riyadh store is the first of 20 locations planned for the area by franchise partner Al Taqa Alia. Two more locations are planned to open in 2013, including an airport site.

“We are excited to expand our footprint in the Middle East”, said David Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger. “We’ve seen the excitement and energy for Smashburger here when we opened our first restaurant in Kuwait earlier this year. Now Kuwait will end the year with three units open. We expect to see the same growth and strength for our brand in Saudi Arabia.”

The opening of Smashburger’s first Saudi Arabian restaurant marks the fourth international country for the brand outside the United States. International growth will continue as Smashburger targets more locations in the Middle East, specifically Turkey, and it also plans to expand into North Africa over the next couple of years.

“There is a strong appetite for premium American brands in the Middle East. Smashburger is at the top of the list,” said Kamel Ismail, the franchise operator for Saudi Arabia. “The people of Saudi Arabia will be surprised and delighted with how good these burgers taste.”

Smashburger calls itself America’s fastest-growing, fast-casual “better burger” restaurant with global appeal. Developed and owned by private-equity firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), the chain operates and develops corporate and multi-unit franchise territories throughout the world and operates 191 restaurants across 29 markets in the US, Canada, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica.