The Cheesecake Factory Inc, the New York-listed restaurant
chain, has signed a deal with Kuwait’s MH Alshaya Co to franchise its outlets
across the Gulf in its first overseas expansion.
The deal allows for 22 restaurants to be built over the next
five years in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, the two firms
said in a statement.
Alshaya retains the right to expand the franchise to cover
the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Mohammed Alshaya, chairman of Alshaya’s retail arm, said the
deal will build on the firm’s reputation for launching high-profile American
“We continuously ask consumers in the Middle East to tell us
which U.S.-based casual dining restaurants they want most in their local markets.
The Cheesecake Factory is always at the top of the list,” he said.
Retail giant Alshaya operates 2,000 stores across 15
countries, and counts brands such as Starbucks, Pizza Express, American Eagle
and Pottery Barn in its portfolio.
In November, the company said it planned to open 1,250 new
stores over the next five years.
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