Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of nearly 300 midmarket restaurant brands, has agreed a new franchising deal for its Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Oriel Grande Brasserie brands in the UAE.
The deal with RELAM Investment gives exclusivity to open and operate the brands in the Gulf country for the next four years and stipulates it will open a minimum of 11 restaurants over the period.
The agreement represents a partnership between RELAM Investment and CDG, who will become its primary food and beverage partner in the region.
RELAM Investment is a well-respected global investment company based in Dubai, specialising in a range of investments, including real-estate and technology.
After recently committing to invest £300m into technology and real estate in India, this will be the company’s first food and drink investment.
The deal sees the first ever franchise for Oriel Grande Brasserie, CDG’s premium all-day restaurant concept, which currently operates three sites, all of which are at airports.
While the food across all of the brands will be reflective of their UK counterparts, all of the sites will be ‘dry’, but will serve a range of specially created mocktails.
The move adds further momentum to CDG’s growing overseas franchise portfolio, which already boasts agreements in Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Ireland.
Sultan Ali Rashed Lootah, chairman and managing director of RELAM Investment (main picture with CDG chief executive Steve Richards), added: “When we look for partners, we don’t just want well-known brands, we want operational experts who are the best in class and reflect our company values. CDG specialises in creating unique and memorable customer experiences and we are confident there is significant demand for its brands across the UAE, as the taste for European cuisine rises.”
CDG said it is exploring further franchising opportunities in Asia, Europe and North Africa.