Saudi firm signs franchise with Turkish restaurant
Saudi Arabian company Al-Hokair Group has signed a master franchise agreement with Turkish Simit Sarayi with the aim of opening 100 new restaurants in the Middle East by 2018.
Al-Hokair has contracts with major international hotel companies such as Hilton, IHG and Accor, to run more than 33 hotels in various parts of the Kingdom and Gulf states. It also has the contract to run Brioche Doree and La Mode restaurants.
Simit, a ring of chewy bread coated with toasted sesame seeds, is widely consumed in Turkey, and Simit Sarayi is one of the well known chains in Turkey to sell simit and related food products.
According to the deal, the Saudi group plans to open 100 Simit Sarayi restaurants by 2018 in countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman and Jordan.
Simit Sarayi CEO Abdullah Kavukçu said: "There is huge interest in simit in the region, and they love our brand. Our restaurant in Mecca, which opened in 2012, attracts a lot of customers and is the highest-profiting of all our restaurants abroad. Consumers love simit and the other pastry products we offer. Therefore, we have decided to sign an agreement with the Al-Hokair Group."
Kavukçu added that the company aims to become a global brand and introduce simit and other Turkish pastry products to the world.
"We receive 800 franchise proposals every month, on average, most of which come from abroad. We plan to open new restaurants in the UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan in 2014 and aim to have 560 restaurants abroad in total by 2018."