KENYA – Leading East African restaurant chain, Java House Africa, has appointed Priscilla Gathungu as Group Chief Executive Officer.

Her career at Java spans through various leadership roles across the group, from the HR department as Human Resources Director for 6 years to a successful stint as Commercial Director.

She later on transitioned into Divisional Managing Director Foodscape where she has consistently delivered value and growth for the business over the last two years, according to a LinkedIn post by the coffee restaurant.

In addition to her expertise, majoring on human resource management and working with a number of different organizations including American retailer Target, Priscilla holds a B.A. Organization Management and Leadership and Masters in Business Administration – Strategic Leadership from Concordia University-St. Paul.

She takes over the helm of the company from Derrick Van Houten, who joined Java House Africa earlier last year from KFC East Africa.

Priscilla is expected to oversee the company’s expansion plan including its recently announced franchise model for its Kukito brand – specializing in grilled chicken.

In a public document inviting potential investors, the food chain has not provided financial details of the proposed transactions but highlighted that the ideal Kukito franchisee must have access to adequate capital to finance the setting up of the outlets, and understands the value of standardization, reports Business Daily Africa.

The model saves the franchisor expansion capital and helps boost growth. In exchange for gaining the rights to use the brand, the franchisee usually pays the franchisor an initial start-up and annual licensing fees.

With the new plan, the Kenyan born restaurant joins other established players such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Domino’s Pizza, among others who have set base in the country through franchising model.

Java currently operates six Kukito eateries in Nairobi and one recently opened in Machakos. The first outlet was opened in 2019 and is situated on Kimathi Street within the central business district.

Its new plan will enable the restaurant outlet to establish up to 30 fast food outlets in the short-term as it seeks to accelerate growth in the country

Besides Kukito, Java House Group currently runs Java restaurants, Planet Yogurt (PY), and 360 Degrees Pizza in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. At one point they had ambitions to open outlets in Dar es Salaam, Lagos, Accra, and Lusaka.

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