Not every town in the United States is lucky enough to boast a diner that serves up classic comfort foods in a homey setting. But that could soon change in some parts of the country as a fast-growing diner chain plots a slew of new restaurant openings.
Black Bear Diner, a cabin-themed chain that serves breakfast and homestyle comfort grub, just announced that it plans to open 14 new restaurants throughout 2024. The new locations will include five corporate-owned diners and nine franchise-owned diners.
Black Bear Diner's planned 2024 expansion will follow up new restaurant openings in Texas, California, Utah, and Arizona last year. The most recent of those openings took place in Burleson, Texas, on Dec. 13. The company currently lists 157 restaurants throughout the West, South, and Midwest on its website, so 14 new openings will be a significant expansion for the chain.
Some of Black Bear Diner's current franchise partners plan to open new locations in California, Texas, and Arizona this year. The chain has also teamed up with two brand-new franchise partners—LVP Foodservice and Gursavri Group—for some of the planned openings. LVP Foodservice plans to open four locations in Kansas, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado in 2024, while Gursavri Group plans to open a diner in Arizona.
"The confidence in our brand is strong," said Anita Adams, chief executive officer of Black Bear Diner, in a press release. "Based on strong bottom-line performance, existing franchisees are investing in new diner locations, while new franchise-partners have come aboard as Black Bear Diner complements their portfolio with our unique full-service brand."
Meanwhile, all five new corporate-owned restaurants will be located in Texas, specifically the San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Rio Grande Valley areas.
Some of the 14 upcoming locations this year will be built from the ground up. In other cases, existing buildings will be converted into Black Bear Diners. The new restaurants will "incorporate recent design enhancements to better accommodate off-premise dining," the company said.
While Black Bear Diner hasn't announced opening dates for all 14 locations coming in 2024, customers who want to stay in the loop can sign up for email updates on new locations through the chain's website.
Black Bear isn't the only restaurant chain with ambitious expansion plans right now. Late last year, sandwich chain Potbelly inked a deal that will expand its restaurant count in the Seattle-Tacoma region of Washington state to 22. Fast-food giant McDonald's, which currently operates more than 40,000 restaurants worldwide, also wants to reach 50,000 global restaurants by 2027.