Gourmet Gulf launches aggressive expansion plan
UAE-based franchise operator Gourmet Gulf has revealed an aggressive expansion plan for the Middle East and India, announcing a target of 100 new units by 2014.
The company, which operates well-known international brands Gourmet Burger Kitchen, California Pizza Kitchen, YO! Sushi and Morelli’s Gellato, will expand in the GCC, India, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
Speaking exclusively to Caterer Middle East, the group’s chief executive, Sami Daud, said the central markets for the planned expansion would be the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India.
“India I think is a fantastic market; there’s so much potential there,” he commented.
“We’re opening our first CPK there around the start of July, and we have high hopes. There’s so much happening but still so little there in terms of foreign brands, so there’s good potential there for us.
“Overall, we will be expanding with the four brands we currently have — then in India there’s another new brand, which I cannot reveal at the moment, but will be coming out very soon,” revealed Daud.
“We are looking at adding one or two other brands to our portfolio; whether something happens with them or not remains to be seen,” he added.
Daud emphasised that this 100-unit target was another positive step in Gourmet Gulf’s continuing growth.
“We’ve been expanding every year; even in 2009 we opened eight or nine units. Truthfully, being in the premium casual dining arena and offering value for money, even when times got tough our restaurants were performing quite well,” he explained.
“We’re not high-end, so we weren’t affected [by the downturn] that much.”
Commenting on the style of F&B brands that might join the company's portfolio in future, Daud said the group would continue operating within the casual dining arena.
“Where we excel is casual dining, so as far as Gourmet Gulf is concerned, I think we’ll stay within those boundaries now,” he concluded.