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Burger Expansion

Always room for more burgers: Double drive-thru chain plans return to Houston in a big way

Checkers and Rally's Big Buford hamburger
The Big Buford burger, a popular Checkers menu item. Gaming4JC/Wikipedia
Checkers and Rally's Long Island people waiting in line for drive-through to open
Checkers has proven popular in other places, but it failed in Houston in the 90s.
Checkers and Rally's Big Buford hamburger
Checkers and Rally's Long Island people waiting in line for drive-through to open

It seems that there's no end to Houston's burger obsession or the number of restaurants that seek to cater to it. With Smashburger, 5 Guys and Elevation Burger already doing battle with hometown favorites like Hubcap Grill and Bernie's Burger Bus, the market might appear to be saturated, but that hasn't stopped out-of-town operators from eyeing the city. 

Highly-touted New York-based burger chain Shake Shack is already making plans to come to Houston and now another national chain has plans to return to the city. Yes, return, which means the news isn't that California cult chain In-N-Out has finally decided to give Houston a shot: instead, Checkers, a Florida-based burger chain with a retro theme, has decided it's coming back to Houston. 

According to a report in the Houston Business Journal, Checkers received such an enthusiastic response from potential franchisees at last week's Franchise Expo South, that it's meeting with potential partners to begin opening Houston locations as soon as the end of the year. If all goes according to plan, the company will open a couple of stores in 2014 and then five to 10 per year. 

Scott Sebastien, a CPA who owns Checkers franchises in Beaumont, thinks Houston can support up to 100 locations. Of course, Swamplot notes that the company already made an attempt to enter the Houston market and departed in the mid-to-late '90s. 

Will things be different for Checkers this time? Is it good enough to compete in Houston? Sound off in the comments. 

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