Kenya’s Java House to expand Kukito brand through franchising model amid high chicken demand

KENYA – Leading East African restaurant chain, Java House is seeking to adopt the franchise model to grow its latest food outlet brand, Kukito – 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

The opening of more Kukito eateries is set to step up competition with other fast-food chains that are famously known for their chicken offerings such as Simbisa brand’s Chicken Inn and KFC.

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.

The plan by Java comes at a time rival international brands have opened more stores in Kenya and continue to trickle into the East African nation with most of them enticing Kenyan consumers with their chicken offering.

Poultry meat consumption in the country has been on the rise with at least 45 million Kenyans frequently consume chicken with 27.6 per cent of the total population partaking the meal once a week.

The UN-Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says 92.6 per cent of the population frequently eat chicken meat and the consumption is projected to rise over the next three decades.

With the rise in demand, Halal international quick-service restaurant (QSR) brand based in UAE, ChicKing, announced its entry into the country earlier in the year.

This came after British halal fast food chain, Chicken Cottage, joined forces with Express Kitchen, a subsidiary of AAH Limited, to open 50 outlets under its banner in the next one year across East Africa.

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