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Smashburger to open third Utah restaurant in Orem

(Daily Herald) Smashburger, a Denver, Colo., fast-casual restaurant chain, plans to open its third Utah store in Orem.

The Orem restaurant is scheduled to open Jan. 27 at 542 E. University Parkway, and will hire about 25 workers. Smashburger, which has 50-plus workers in Utah, first opened at the Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City last year, and added its second store in Sugarhouse.

The company entered into a joint venture with Tom Hartman, a marketing partner in Utah, to have up to eight corporate restaurants statewide over the next two years. A new restaurant will open in Draper in March, followed by additional stores in American Fork, Ogden, Bountiful and Sandy. Companywide, the chain has 43 stores in 13 states, 30 of which are corporate stores and the remaining 13 are franchisee-owned. For 2010, the company plans to add between 20 and 40 new stores.

"From an economic standpoint, it's a difficult time and unemployment nationwide is at an all-time high. But Utah's employment situation is stronger compared with other areas in the country. So we'll still be able to put up the eight stores in a relatively short time," said Scott Crane, president of Smashburger. "We're looking to develop critical mass and more brand awareness with the new stores."

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