A local franchisee said he expects to bring the Steak ‘n Shake burger chain to Baton Rouge by the middle of next year.

Gustavo Ruiz de Chavez, operating owner and chief operating officer of Louisiana Steak ‘n Shake, would not say where the Baton Rouge restaurant will be located, but said the long-term plans call for three here and one each in Denham Springs and Hammond.

Louisiana Steak ‘n Shakes’ first location will begin construction this week in Covington and will open in December.

Ruiz de Chavez said once the restaurants are open in Covington, Hammond, Denham Springs and Baton Rouge, he and partners Eric and Kai Oberlander will look to other Louisiana cities such as Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria and Monroe for opportunities.

Founded in 1934 in Normal, Ill., Steak ‘n Shake currently has more than 450 restaurants in 20 states.

While the menu focuses on burgers, with the signature offering being the Steakburger, Steak ‘n Shake also offers salads, sandwiches and hand-dipped milkshakes.