KENYA – The American privately held sandwiches and salads restaurant chain has said it is looking to open four additional branches in the Kenyan capital Nairobi where an appetite for fast-foods is significantly increasing, reported Business Daily.

Subway through Liberty Eagle Holdings, the Africa franchise holder of the fast-food brand, is embarking on a growth strategy in the Kenya, a market characterized by increasing disposable income.

The food chain which runs 43,300 restaurants in 11 countries said in local dailies that it was looking for developers in Kenya to host new outlets.

In Kenya, it has a total of 12 outlets, 9 in Nairobi all franchise operated

“The world’s number one global franchise is seeking …ground floor locations with excellent visibility for long-term leases in CBD, UpperHill, Lavington and Mombasa Road,” read an advert by the firm in the local dailies.

This expansion further disrupts the fast food industry in Kenya where in the recent years, KFC, Naked Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery have opened more outlets.

Java House, a coffee-led restaurant is the leading food chain brand in the region with 64 branches followed KFC, which has 31 branches in the region, 17 of them in Kenya, nine in Uganda and five in Tanzania.
Subway seems to have taken a different turn in its expansion, that is a conservative one as all of its outlets are located in Nairobi while Java has a footprint in all the big towns.

Java said it was injecting about US$10m in expansion drive this year cementing its place as the number one restaurant chain in the region.

Overseas expansion high on its priorities

In its international expansion drive, Subway said in April it was considering to close about 500 restaurant locations in the US with plans to open 1,000 or more overseas.

According to Bloomberg, this was meant to focus on better restaurant locations and boosting sales.

This was after Subway shut down more than 800 locations a year before even as the American market becomes considerably competitive with the likes McDonalds and Starbucks holding the largest share.

“We want to be sure that we have the best locations,” Subway Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Greco, told Bloomberg.

“We focused in the past on restaurant count. We’re focused now on strengthening market share. Store count isn’t everything, it is about growing the business,” she said.