KENYA – The Java House restaurant chain is set to open another outlet outside Nairobi in Nanyuki’s Cedar Mall, indicating an increasing shift to the counties.
The expansion targeting counties has so far seen Java open branches in Kisumu, Naivasha and Nakuru in the recent past with more planned for Eldoret and Thika.
The restaurant chain is also set to open the 46th branch at Wilson Airport in three weeks’ time.
The coffee house will open the 47th branch in Nanyuki in November as it steps up the expansion plans it started last year.
The growth drive has seen the restaurant chain nearly double its branches so far. The company has set a target to open 15 to 20 Java outlets annually.
“In the past 12 months Java House has opened 15 stores and is planning on continuing to open 15-20 stores per year,” said Java House group CEO Ken Kuguru in a recent interview with the Business Daily.
The growth has seen the coffee house also open branches in various part of Nairobi including one along Mama Ngina Street, another at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, ReInsurance Plaza previously occupied by Walker’s and at Embassy House, just off Harambee Avenue.
Each new Java outlet employs between 30 to 35 staff, meaning that the restaurant chain’s rapid expansion is also making it a major employer.
The growth plan also involves opening additional branches of the sister brands, Planet Yogurt and 360 Degrees Pizza.
Last week, the chain opened the seventh Planet Yogurt outlet under the chain on Kimathi Street. Planet Yogurt is mainly located in shopping malls. It mainly sells frozen yoghurts.
It is also expected to open another outlet at Rosslyn Riviera late this year following the scheduled opening of the mall in October. It is also setting up a second 360-degree Pizza branch at Rosslyn Riviera.
“The Java’s that are scheduled to open in the next few months are at Rosslyn Riviera (Runda), Kigale Heights (Rwanda) and Aero Club (Wilson Airport),” he said, adding that he was not at liberty to share specifics on investments but indicated that ‘hefty’ investments were made for the machinery and modern interior fittings.
Asked why it has taken so long for the chain restaurant to set up a second Planet Yoghurt outlet in Nairobi Mr Kuguru said: “Our expansion is strongly correlated to the availability of premium sites and locations, and has been relatively consistent over the past several years by opening one or two stores in a year.”