New Jersey-native fast casual restaurant Bubbakoo’s Burritos is expanding with three additional Garden State locations opening in June.
The burrito eatery opened its second Bergen County location in Saddlebook Tuesday at 110 Market St. A location in Bayonne is set to open in two weeks, and another location is coming to Sparta.
Bubbakoo’s co-founder Bill Hart talked to NJBIZ about what it’s like to grow during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strongly affected the restaurant industry.
“We’re sticking true to the law with takeout and delivery through our mobile app and third party platforms, and our model was heavy takeout to begin with. The first two weeks of the pandemic hurt a little bit because everyone was grocery shopping, but then they kind of went back to normal and started ordering through the apps,” Hart said. “We’re up versus last year, and we’re opening stores, so we’re excited.”
A Pamona, N.Y. location is slated to open next week, and the chain’s 75th franchise was sold on Monday.
“We’re still selling franchises in the middle of this. It’s definitely slowed down [compared to before the pandemic], but the phones are still ringing because people have more time to research. By the end of the year, we’ll probably have another 15 to 20 locations sold,” Hart said.
The goal is to sell the 100th franchise by year’s end.
According to Vice President of Construction Ron Bidinost, the Saddlebrook location tapped into a market of folks already familiar with Bubbakoo’s from the South Jersey market.
“Our New Jersey openings have been very strong, mostly because people know us from the shore,” Bidinost said. “For people that commute down to the shore, it’s kind of like bringing part of the shore back up to where they are full time.”
Twenty-five percent of orders through the Bubbakoo’s app for the Saddlebrook location Tuesday came from existing shore customers, he said, calling it “a fantastic opening said.”
Gary Krauss of Pierson Commercial in Englishtown represented the tenant in these transactions.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 6:38 p.m. EST on June 5, 2020 to include information about a Bubbakoos Burritos location opening in Sparta, and information regarding Pierson Commercial’s representation of eatery as a tenant in these transactions.