Burger chain Wahlburgers, run by actors Donnie and Mark Wahlberg with their chef brother Paul, is embarking on conquering the Chinese market, starting with its first three locations in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Wuhan.
The popular American casual dining restaurant and bar chain, which even has its own Reality TV series, is eyeing to place 100 restaurants in China and the surrounding region over the next five years, according to a press statement released last month. The Asia expansion will be the firm’s first overseas venture.
In an interview with City Weekend, Mark Wahlberg revealed what type of challenge the chain is expecting to face once they finally open:
“It will, of course, be the start of building our brand in one of the world’s largest markets, and in a city with very high standards for food. So, I’m sure delivering a fantastic experience that does credit to both our brand and Shanghai will be a challenge, but we are up for the challenge.”
Asked whether there will be any changes in the local Asian menu, Wahlberg stated that there will be some minor changes.
“At its core, what we need to deliver is a Wahlburgers experience built around our core products,” he was quoted as saying. “Having said that, of course, we need to adapt the menu to satisfy local tastes.”
The massive project, which has been in the works for almost a year, will be a joint venture with Shanghai-based Cachet Hospitality Group (CHG) and Middle East businessman Farooq Arjomand, an investor in Cachet.
The partnership will allow Wahlburgers Asia Pacific to open in a variety of locations, such as hotels, resorts, malls, theme parks, residential and office developments in Asia.
Wahlburgers, which opened its first restaurant in Hingham, Massachusetts in 2011, has expanded to 12 other locations in the last five years, including two stores in Canada.