KENYA – The Nairobi-based coffee chain, Java House, has opened its 84th branch in the city’s bustling Eastleigh neighborhood, targeting the populous market.

The new outlet is located at the newly opened Business Bay Square Mall, which has attracted several businesses, including Carrefour, which also opened its newest branch there.

The new branch is poised to captivate diners by offering more casual dining options in the area, offering a Halal-compliant menu, coffee, and other retail items through sit-down or online deliveries from partners such as Carrefour, Glovo, Jumia Foods, Bolt Foods, Uber Eats, and Little Cab.

According to Priscilla Gathungu, CEO of Java House, the growth is part of the brand’s ambition to reach a wider audience with its signature Java menu customized to cater to each market segment.

“Being the market leader in the casual dining space in this region, we want to continue to innovate our experience based on what our guests are telling us. Our guests’ needs are constantly evolving, and we want to adapt to these changes,” said Gathungu.

“Eastleigh is a bustling hub of activity. We have 100,000 people coming into Eastleigh daily with 30,000 of those coming for work-related activity and that number gets to over 250,000 over the holiday periods. You have to respect the work ethic and collaboration that goes into building this kind of vibrant community and collaboration and that’s why it makes sense to be here and to be that.”

Since opening its doors in 1999 in Nairobi, Java has expanded in the East African region with three sister brands such as Kukito, Planet Yoghurt, and 360 Degrees Pizza.

At the start of the year, speculation hit the airwaves that the coffee chain was put on sale. However, Java came out refuting the Sh2.5 billion (US$18.4m) and Sh3 billion (US$24m) divestment deal claims.

With this new investment into a new branch, Java House is surely making moves to strengthen its leadership position in Kenya’s restaurant chain business.

Last year, the company announced plans to open five more branches in Kenya by October as it expands in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive with the growth and entry of more fast-food brands.

The coffee house said it will open two outlets at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and another one at Moi International Airport in Mombasa as well as in Machakos town, targeting hundreds of travelers going through the facilities.

In August last year, the chain revealed plans to partner with local investors who will use the Kukito brand name to establish up to 30 fast-food outlets.

In a witty rebuttal to its sales claims, the company reiterated its strong focus on Kenya and the East African market.

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