KENYA – Big Square, a fast-food chain brand in Kenya has opened a new outlet in Eldoret town in quest of expanding its presence.
According to reports by Business Daily, the KSH45 million (US$414,800) outlet is the 12th store of the restaurant chain which has also set base in Mombasa.
The company is still pursuing its expansion plan despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has hard hit the HoReCa industry resulting to closure of restaurants, with some yet to reopen.
“On matters expansion, the current pandemic has affected the hospitality industry. Even as we work on increasing our footprint in Nairobi and out of Nairobi, we’re taking caution on when and where we open new outlets.”Carolle Kariuki – Marketing Manager Interstrat Ltd, which owns Big Square
At the height of the pandemic, restaurants had closed their doors to sit-in customers, making sales only on a take-away basis before the restrictions were lifted, but with reduced capacity.
The segment is slowly recovering with limited branches operational as restaurateurs evaluate the market.
“On matters expansion, the current pandemic has affected the hospitality industry. Even as we work on increasing our footprint in Nairobi and out of Nairobi, we’re taking caution on when and where we open new outlets,” said Carolle Kariuki, Marketing Manager Interstrat Ltd, which owns Big Square.
Big Square founded by Morne Deetlefs in 2011, received financial backing in 2018 from South-African based private equity fund, Uqalo, who invested US$4 million in the fast-food chain through acquisition of a significant shareholding in the firm.
At the time of the acquisition, Uqalo said that its investment seeks to enable Big Square expand its footprint from the nine stores it operated to over 30 by the year 2022.
Big Square is expanding its footprint in the Kenyan market and joins food chains such as KFC, Artcaffe and Java Coffee.
Earlier this year the Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) owned restaurant, Artcaffe Group, opened its third branch in Nairobi.
The new branch located in Chester House, Kimathi Street is part of the three new branches Artcaffe is set to open, to further consolidate the group’s share in the country’s rapid growing fast-food sector.
The coffee chain has also set up a new concept under its umbrella dubbed ArtBakery, with several outlets already operational including one at Westgate Mall and the other on Limuru Road.
Artcaffe first opened shop in Kenya in 2009 and has expanded rapidly with new openings in Nairobi’s high-end shopping malls. The firm already has more than 30 branches across the city.
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