Dubai falafel chain explores UK market for perfect partner

Dubai-based fast casual chain Operation: Falafel is hopeful of finding a local foodservice partner to facilitate its entrance into the UK market.

The company has been exhibiting at the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo at London ExCeL this week and confirmed that UK expansion is very much part of its growth strategy.

It has already agreed a deal to launch its concept in the US and plans are afoot to do the same in the UK.

“We are anticipating the opening of our first location in the US next year and are excited to join industry professionals at this prestigious event in hopes of solidifying a partnership with an established UK operator,” said Manhal Naser, CEO and co-founder of parent company AWJ Investments.

Operation: Falafel specialises in Middle Eastern street food, such as falafels, chicken and beef shawarmas at affordable prices. It launched its first operation in Dubai three years ago and the 1,900 square foot site now turns over $3m (£2.3m) a year, prompting it to open a further nine locations.

Following its success in the UAE, it is looking to export the brand to other areas of the Middle East, as well as Europe and North America.

“Our strategy of entering into license agreements with highly qualified, experienced restaurant operators that have broad geographic capabilities is proving to be an excellent way to expand internationally,” said Naser.

“Operation: Falafel was founded on the vision of creating a global brand that would cater to leading markets. The scalable business model and fresh ingredients contribute to Operation: Falafel’s adaptability and high growth potential.”

The company will no doubt be aware of the challenges associated with exporting an overseas brand to the UK market. As reported by FEJ last February, compatriot Just Falafel closed all its UK stores, with analysts suggesting the firm had struggling to stand out in a competitive market place.




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