Swedish burger chain eyes 50 outlets across Gulf

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Sweden’s Max Burgers plans to open 50 outlets across the Gulf in the next five years as it ramps up its global expansion plans, its CEO told Arabian Business.

Max, which claims it is more profitable than McDonald's or Burger King in its home country, will open in Dubai before launching its operations across the rest of the Gulf, said Richard Bergfors, the son of founder Curt.

“Our mission and goal is to grow in the whole GCC area,” he said. “The plan is to launch here in Dubai and then take it from there. We’d like 60 plus outlets [in the next five years] but it could be more.”

A growing number of fast food franchises are using Dubai as a springboard to launch their operations across the Gulf. The emirate, which is currently enjoying a retail and tourism boom, is the second most attractive emerging market for retailers after China, in part because high disposable income, according to management consulting firm AT Kearney.

New Zealand’s BurgerFuel, Smashburger and Shake Shack have all announced plans to expand their presence in the Gulf in recent years.

Max, founded in 1968, opened its third outlet in Dubai last week and plans to open another three, including two in Abu Dhabi, before the end of May.

“The competition, especially in Dubai, is very hard and probably the most competitive in the world so if you make it here, you can make it anywhere,” said Bergfors.

“One of the main differentiators is that most of our competitors are American and we are Swedish… and our main advantage is the quality and taste of the food,” he added.

“We have a very big emphasis on healthy alternatives so we to try to make fast food more healthy – that has been hugely successful in Scandinavia and I think it will be here also.”

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Posted by: Hisham

Though they reacted under pressure from consumers, this is actually a company that has pretty good morals. They started a nationwide ban on Dole products in reaction to Dole threatening a Swedish documentary maker who exposed their ill treatment of banana farmers, and caused Dole to drop aggressive lawsuits against someone who told the simple truth. Watch the documentary, it's well worth it!

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