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Mon 15 Apr 2013 08:40 AM

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Organic US pizza chain eyes slice of UAE market

Florida’s Pizza Fusion will open 15 restaurants in Gulf state over the next decade

Organic US pizza chain eyes slice of UAE market
(image for illustrative purposes)

US-based organic food chain Pizza Fusion is to open 15 outlets in the UAE over the coming decade as part of its strategy to open 40 restaurants in the region over the next five years.

The Boca Raton, Florida-based company will launch its first restaurant in Dubai this summer and has the option to open an additional ten stores following the initial run.

The deal to expand in the UAE is via local franchise partner Food Fusion Establishment, led by Amir Mahasseny.

Pizza Fusion’s stores are designed to use recycled materials and energy efficient equipment, while deliveries are made with hybrid vehicles.

Pizza Fusion currently has eight outlets in Saudi Arabia, in addition to six in Florida, two in New Jersey and one a piece in North Carolina, Colorado and Ohio.

According to data from research firm Euromonitor, the UAE’s fast casual dining sector is expected to grow from $6.4bn in 2011 to $87bn by 2015, with burger chains set to the see the largest increases.

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Hisham 7 years ago

Always funny how Gulf franchisees tend to open more outlets of any given franchise chain in such a tiny country than the chain has in their huge home market. Every time I read something like this I realize my hope for homegrown concepts, which can then be exported to related (Arab) markets with Dubai as the base, seems further away. It's a pity that people in this region would rather put their money into becoming a glorified lower level manager than truly venture and create something they own.

jonjon 7 years ago

i couldn't agree with you more. some of these brands i never heard of before and just because their a foreign brand doesn't make it any better. instead of signing all these MFA's they should consider starting their own arab brand.

Chase 7 years ago

hello.. if i am not mistaken, Just Falafel.. is a local brand that is expanding (now in the UK)... so lets not cut overselves short.. thanks..

Tarek 7 years ago

What about Just Falafel? this is an exception

Hisham 7 years ago

As with any rule, there are exceptions. However, looking at the number of franchised American and European chains VS locally created and internationally expanded chains, the latter is unfortunately negligible. What I don't get is, why not create an own brand of organic pizza (or whatever kind of product) instead of franchising a brand no one has ever heard of before it appeared in this article. Just to be able to market it as being from the States? Instead, a lot of work could be created for local branding agencies, interior design specialists, Social Media marketers, F&B distributors (as franchises most often force franchisees to buy every ingredient from the franchiser) etc. Not to mention less money would leak out of the local economy in support of countries 10/15 thousand km's away...

kingkaiser 7 years ago

Hisham, I agree with your statement. Its sad how this region chases behind "brand names", ignoring the incredible potential within. Not only are we not encouraging local entrepreneurs and talents, we also concentrate wealth in conglomerates that can afford those franchises, as opposed to the west where at least every McDonalds / Pizza Hut / etc isnt owned by the same group.