In a continuing strategy of exploring previously untapped markets, Turku-based hamburger restaurant chain Hesburger opened a new outlet in Iran's capital city Tehran on Friday.
The debut attracted many curious onlookers to the grand opening, according to a statement by Hesburger's founder Heikki Salmela, and the crowd could be seen in photos published on social media.
Throngs of people were shown outside the restaurant in a photo posted on Twitter by Keijo Norvanto, Finland's Ambassador to Iran, with the ambassador tweeting: "honored to visit the very first Hesburger restaurant in Tehran, Iran. Such a great example of Finnish-Iranian cooperation and entrepreneurship."
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According to the company at least some of the menu ingredients will be produced in Finland. For example Hesburger said that most of the ingredients for their burger mayonnaise will be sourced from Finland, but due to food preservation concerns the condiment will be manufactured and packaged in Iran.
The company said that it has expansion plans in Iran and that it intends to open one or two new franchise outlets in the country each year.
Hesburger, which started as an small burger stand in Naantali, Finland in the 1960s, now has franchises operating in ten countries.
One of the more unusual locations the firm flips burgers in is Vladivostok, a city on the eastern coast of Russia. Last month the firm Burger-In — the company behind Hesburger — announced plans to open nine new restaurants in Bulgaria.
Last year the firm opened its first outlets in Belarus and also has locations in the Baltic states, Ukraine and Germany.