Bonchon, the world-famous restaurant chain known for its signature Korean double-fried chicken, has appointed Flynn Dekker as Chief Executive Officer giving him the day-to-day leadership of the company.
Dekker’s appointment was announced today by Bonchon’s board of directors and VIG Partners, who acquired a majority ownership of Bonchon in December of 2018, overseen by BM Park, a Managing Partner at the firm and Chairman of Bonchon’s board of directors. VIG Partners, founded in 2005, has expertise in the Korean mid-market buyout space and has deployed around US$2.5 billion of capital across 19 different portfolios across a diverse range of industries including consumer, retail, financial services, online commerce, lifestyle, and food and beverage.
Dekker, a multi-unit restaurant and retail veteran, will succeed Bonchon founder Jinduk Seo, who remains a shareholder in the company and will continue as a member of the company’s board.
“The board and I are confident that Flynn is the right person to build on the growth and momentum Bonchon has built in the United States and worldwide,” said BM Park. “He is a seasoned leader with significant experience working with multi-unit restaurant concepts on operational efficiencies, revenue generation and delivering value to franchisees and equity holders. We are thrilled to have him as our new CEO.”
Dekker sees opportunities to accelerate Bonchon’s growth through a series of enhancements including the implementation of strategic initiatives in supply chain, technology, operations and marketing, while expanding the restaurant group’s domestic and international footprint. Bonchon currently has 92 locations in the U.S. and 345 worldwide. The brand is scheduled to grow by over 15 new locations in the U.S. in the next year signifying growth of over 17%, making it one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the U.S.
“My passion for Bonchon began many years ago when I discovered the brand on a trip to New York City. Bonchon’s commitment to serving a unique, quality product combined with its loyal, worldwide fanbase and talented team are just some of the reasons I am excited to be leading the brand,” says Dekker. “There is a lot of white space for Bonchon to grow as we introduce our signature fried chicken to more franchisees and consumers in markets across the world. Our goal is to have one of the best investment ratios in the business driven by our continued commitment to our passionate base of fans.”
Dekker, 49, comes to Bonchon with a long tenure in senior leadership roles including Chief Marketing Officer at Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING) where he led the company’s strategic advertising, branding, media and marketing efforts. As CMO, Dekker oversaw consecutive years of industry-leading same store sales comps, transitioned the company from regional to national advertising and was a key member of the team that took Wingstop public in 2014. Dekker began his career in operations with Blockbuster and Pizza Hut. Since that time, he has held senior marketing roles at EMI Music, FedEx Office, Fogo de Chão, Metromedia Restaurant Group and Rave Restaurant Group. Dekker also acquired extensive hands-on experience as the owner and operator of his own upscale restaurant in Dallas, TX.
Bonchon debuted in the U.S. in 2006 and quickly became one of the fastest growing restaurant chains around the world based on its proprietary sauces (all custom made at Bonchon’s Global Kitchen in Busan, South Korea), signature crunchy-double fried chicken recipe and other authentic menu offerings. Bonchon is headquartered in New York City, with its international headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.
Founded in South Korea in 2002 and established in the United States in 2006, Bonchon, Korean for ‘my hometown,’ currently has 92 US restaurants in operation with franchise outposts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Bonchon has a total of 345 locations worldwide including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Kuwait, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Bonchon was recognized by Food & Wine Magazine in 2017 as “The Best Chicken Wings in the U.S.” The traditional sit-down restaurant provides a friendly, fine casual experience great for dining with family and friends. For the ultimate convenience, Bonchon fried chicken is just as enjoyable at home, and most restaurants also offer take-out and delivery services. For menus, locations, or franchise opportunities go to bonchon.com. Follow @bonchonchicken on Instagram and @bonchon on Twitter.