The Casual Dining Group has secured an exclusive deal to roll out two new franchises in Southern Ireland in partnership with an experienced restaurateur.
The group has signed a franchise deal giving exclusive rights to its Las Iguanas and Bella Italia brands in Southern Ireland to Robert O’Donoghue to further the development of its growing overseas franchise portfolio.
This latest agreement sees the number of CDG franchise partners rise to five, with development agreements or existing operations in place in eight countries across the globe, including the UK, South Africa, India and the wider Middle East.
Under the deal, the first sites to open will be a Las Iguanas in Dublin and Cork in the New Year, with further restaurants opening as and when the right sites become available.
Mark Nelson, managing director of concessions and franchising at 300-strong Casual Dining Group, said: “We have several brands that have cut their teeth in the UK and are now earning their stripes across the globe.
“Ireland was a natural fit for a franchise partner, due to its cultural similarities with the UK. We’re delighted to have an experienced, hands-on operator like Robert flying the flag for our Las Iguanas and Bella Italia brands, and we look forward to helping support his business as it looks to grow.”
O’Donoghue, who has over a decade experience as a restaurant operator, currently owns and oversees the day-to-day running of four independent sites in Dublin and Cork for his Caffe Misto and Kubo brands.
He said: “Casual Dining Group operates excellent household brands and possesses a wealth of knowledge and expertise. There’s a massive opportunity for its brands in Ireland and I’m delighted to be working together to create exceptional dining experiences across the country.
“Naturally, Dublin and Cork will be the focus for the first openings, but if the right sites are available I’d also be interested in targeting other areas of Southern Ireland, particularly Galway.”
All employees working at the franchise sites in Ireland will be trained centrally by Casual Dining Group.