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FERNDALE, MI-bd’s mongolian barbecue officials have committed $1.4 million to construction of two Detroit restaurants after having secured $7 million in debt refinancing with GE Commercial Franchise Finance of Arizona. “We thought GEFF was the best fit to do this deal and help us grow because of their capabilities and size,” says Todd Pahl, chief financial officer of bd’s mongolian barbeque.

“Their rates were competitive and they were extremely efficient,” Pahl says. “After approval, the whole deal was handled in 31 days, which made us very happy.”

bd’s, which intends to franchise 37 stores over the next five years, currently has 23 restaurants, of which 10 are franchises. Focused in the Midwest with headquarters in Ferndale, bd’s is looking to expand to new markets such as Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Plans to open new Michigan stores in Flint and Kalamazoo are currently in the works, Pahl adds.

The company’s restaurant theme is create-your-own stir-fry, with restaurant employees cooking patron-selected food items on an open grill while they wait. There are currently nine stores operating in Michigan including stores in Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, Okemos and Novi.

“GEFF really knows the restaurant industry and is committed to seeing us grow,” Pahl says. “The professional and personable manner in which they handled our needs enables us to see them as a business partner for the future.”

Mike Dolan, vice president of concept development at GEFF, worked on the deal with Pahl. “bd’s is focused on its market segment and trying to differentiate themselves,” he says. “We have a soup-to-nuts approach for bd’s. We’re looking at bd’s existing corporate restaurant needs as well as how our financial solutions can help them meet their five-year goal of moving into a franchising model.”

GE Commercial Franchise Finance is a leading lender for the franchise finance market via direct sales and portfolio acquisition in the US and Canada. The company finances new construction, remodeling, refinancing, and acquisitions, even with smaller operations, Dolan says.

With more than $12 billion in served assets, GEFF serves over 6,000 customers and over 21,000 property locations, primarily in the restaurant, hospitality, branded beverage, storage, and automotive industries.

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