US food chain eyes major GCC expansion

Cheesecake Factory opens first restaurant in Dubai; plans 22 outlets across Gulf region
US food chain eyes major GCC expansion
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 18 Aug 2012 09:48 AM

The US-based Cheesecake Factory has made its international debut with the opening of a flagship restaurant in Dubai.

The casual dining restaurant has opened in The Dubai Mall, with plans for further expansion across the Gulf region by 2016.

Under a licence agreement with Kuwait-based Alshaya Trading Co, the 300-capacity Dubai opening marks the first location for the brand outside of the US.

Alshaya's exclusive licensing deal includes the development of Cheesecake Factory restaurants across the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The agreement also gives Alshaya the opportunity to expand The Cheesecake Factory into its other operating markets in the Middle East and North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Europe.

According to the company's website, the target is for 22 restaurants to open in the Gulf region by 2016.

"For nearly 35 years, The Cheesecake Factory has been the benchmark for menu innovation, food quality, ambiance and hospitality. We look forward to the expansion of The Cheesecake Factory throughout the Middle East and globally," said David Overton, chairman and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory.

Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman of MH Alshaya Co, added: "The Cheesecake Factory is a fantastic addition to our restaurant portfolio and is certain to be hugely popular with the people of Dubai.

"We have already charted out an extensive expansion plan and are looking forward to continued success with the brand across the Middle East and beyond."

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