Company behind US burger chain says Middle East has ‘huge potential’ for growth
Kuwait’s M H Alshaya Co said Thursday it had opened its second Shake Shack burger outlet and plans to open up to eight more across the Middle East by the end of 2012.
The opening marks the New York burger chain’s debut in Kuwait, following the launch of a Dubai branch in April, and reflects the “huge potential” for growth in the Middle East, said
Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, the firm behind Shake Shack.
The firm signed a franchise deal with Alshaya in 2010.
Alshaya, one of the Gulf’s largest family-owned firms, has an extensive franchise portfolio that includes a string of US household name food and beverage brands.
The company has closed franchises in the last six months for the Chicago-based chain Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and a 22-outlet deal for New-York listed chain The Cheesecake Factory.
The Kuwait retail conglomerate last month said it had signed a deal to launch American pancake chain IHOP in the Middle East. Alshaya will open 40 restaurants across the six Gulf states, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt by 2016, marking IHOP’s first major expansion outside the US.
Alshaya operates 2,000 stores across 15 countries, and counts brands such as Starbucks, Pizza Express, American Eagle, Boots and Pottery Barn in its portfolio.
The company employs around 20,000 people and operates 2,000 stores in 15 markets.
In November, the company said it planned to open 1,250 new stores over the next five years, creating an estimated 4,000 jobs.