Genesis BBQ taps into new US markets
People line up to purchase fried chicken products at a Genesis BBQ store in New York. Genesis BBQ is running more than 150 fried chicken restaurants in the United States. Photo courtesy of Genesis BBQ

Korean fried chicken chain trying to expand in North America

South Korea’s foremost fried chicken chain BBQ is scheduled to tap into seven American states this year, according to the brand’s operator Genesis on Sept. 6.

The Seoul-based company said that it would newly set up BBQ restaurants in a total of seven states of Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Oklahoma in 2022.

Presently, Genesis runs more than 150 BBQ chain stores in 19 US states, up from 101 as of the end of 2021, including California, Texas, and New Jersey.

Genesis BBQ also operates some 100 restaurants in Canada.

Earlier this year, the American publication Nation’s Restaurant News ranked BBQ second in the 25 fastest-growing restaurant chains in the United States. Last year, it ranked No. 5.

Founded in the late 1960s, the Nation’s Restaurant News is a representative US trade publication, which covers the food service industry, such as restaurant chains.

“We will strengthen our presence in the U.S., the home of so many food franchises,” Genesis founding Chairman Park Hong-geun told a company event last week in time with Genesis BBQ’s 27th anniversary.

“Based on that, we will enter into such global markets as Europe, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In particular, we will target Indonesia.”

Observers remain optimistic about the prospect of global business by Korean food corporations.

“The popularity of K-pop bands like BTS and BlackPink prompt people from across the world to like Korean food and cosmetics. BBQ will be able to benefit from the trend,” Prof. Seo Yong-gu from Sookmyung Women’s University said.

“Among Korean food companies, however, just a few like Paris Baguette managed to make their presence felt in the world market. It remains to be seen whether Genesis BBQ would join the rank.”

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Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at homin30@hanmail.net or 82-2-6956-6698.