KENYA – American fast food chain Burger King is set to open a Nairobi outlet at The Hub Mall in Karen.
The firm is making final touches on the store. Burger King’s arrival in the Kenyan market comes more than three years after opening its first Africa joint in South Africa in 2013.
The chain also has a presence in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where it opened a restaurant last December. The firm did not confirm who the franchise licence holders for the Kenyan market is.
There are indications however that Nas Servair, the third-largest airline catering and logistics business globally which also manages the Ivory Coast business, could be the local franchise holders.
Servair Abidjan owns and operates the Ivory Coast Burger King business through a franchise agreement.
The South African units are operated by Johannesburg-based leisure company Grand Parade Investments Limited which also holds the franchise licence for Mauritius, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia and Angola.
Nairobi outlet, once operational, is expected to provide employment opportunities to tens of Kenyans.
The Burger King brand is owned by Restaurant Brands International (RBI) Inc, which has been operational for more than 60 years.
It is also known as the Home of the Whopper, a signature hamburger sold at its outlets spread across 100 countries.
The RBI Inc investors include billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Ackman.
Influx of brands
“Kenya has been a strong market for the Burger King brand. We do not have any further information to provide on our restaurant at this time, but please refer to our website for any future announcements from the brand,” said a Burger King media relations official.
Burger King’s entry into the local market comes at a time when Kenya is experiencing an influx of fast food brands.
In the past three years, Kenya has seen the entry of big players in the fast food industry like South African seafood chain Ocean Basket, Sandwich chain Subway, ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery, Japanese firm Toridoll and Domino’s Pizza which have opened stores in Nairobi.
These global players are turning to emerging markets such as Africa for growth, attracted by rising disposable incomes, fast economic growth and a young population, according a study by consultancy firm McKinsey.
Nairobi’s position as a hub for multinationals has also attracted global restaurant chains.
The entry of these eateries is also aimed at tapping the emergent fast food culture that is driven by changing lifestyles and growing appetite for exotic foods.