Usain Bolt sprints into kitchens with restaurant chain roll-out

World and Olympic sprint champion Jamaican Usain Bolt eats a Mexican "Taco", during a conference at the World Sport Congress in Mexico city, on November 14, 2009. The triple Olympic and world sprint champion is in Mexico for a one-day visit. AFP PHOTO/Ronaldo Schemidt (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

A Jamaican restaurant chain in which Usain Bolt is a partner has set its sights on opening 15 sites in the UK.

Track & Records, which is owned by the Jamaican franchise company, FRANJAM, plans to expand across the UK over the next five years after signing a deal with the Casual Dining Restaurant Group (CDRG). It said the first restaurants will be opened within a few months.

Track & Records was founded in Kingston in April 2011 and aims to offer an authentic Jamaican culinary and entertainment experience.

Gary Matalon, managing director of FRANJAM, said expansion into the UK was a “significant milestone” for the business.

“When we created the Tracks & Records concept it was done with these major markets in mind,” he explained. “The UK has been a key target market for us since the conceptualisation stage over seven years ago, and there is no greater satisfaction than to see it unfold in this way.

“For Jamaica, I believe this signifies the first time a local, home-grown concept has evolved into becoming an international franchise. This confirms Brand Jamaica’s potential and gives us widespread hope that we can export many other Jamaican brands through this business model.”

CDRG runs a portfolio of 120 restaurants and hotels and will add the Jamaican chain to its growing list of franchise operations.

Bolt, the owner of eight Olympic gold medals, has publicly backed the chain’s UK plans and said he is looking forward to his involvement in the UK restaurant market.

He said London had always been a “special place” for him and he was delighted that the deal with CDRG allows the chain to share its vision with UK customers.

“I’m happy to be able to share a taste of the Jamaica that I know and love with the rest of the world through the opening of these restaurants across the UK,” he said.

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