Dubai-based retail and hospitality firm Marka announced that it has acquired the Middle Esat franchise operations of luxury ice cream brand Morelli’s Gelato. The deal was worth Dhs 31m, the company said in a statement. The acquisition, which includes five outlets, will be integrated into Marka’s dedicated food and beverage division Marka Hospitality. Post the deal, Marka said that it will expand the brand by opening 17 additional Morelli’s Gelato outlets in the MENA region by 2020. “Morelli’s Gelato is an important addition to Marka’s hospitality portfolio,” said Marka’s CEO Nick Peel. “It is a renowned and profitable brand with a solid growth trajectory and an experienced and entrepreneurial management team. Morelli’s has an enviable operational and financial reputation and is a perfect fit with Marka’s next phase of growth and expansion.” Morelli’s started as an ice cream parlour in England and later was established in locations such as Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, Harrods Candy Store and more recently Covent Garden in London. Currently franchised in the Middle East through Gourmet Gulf Food, Morelli’s outlets are located at Dubai Mall, The Beach opposite JBR, Bahrain City Centre, The Avenues mall in Kuwait and Mall of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia. A sixth store is being planned at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. Apart from the UAE, Marka added that it is also planning to expand Morelli’s to other new markets such as Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The expansion is in line with the company’s strategy of placing a selective focus on markets that combine luxury with economic growth, Marka said. Marka, which has acquired a number of top brands such as UK-based e-commerce site Icons and Reem Al Bawadi chain of restaurants, has said that it finds the region’s food and beverage sector the most attractive to invest in. The Dubai-listed firm has invested up to Dhs 600m this year in acquisitions and is planning to invest Dhs 250m by the end of this year, officials said. At the time of its listing in April last year, Marka said that it aims to open more than 100 fashion stores, restaurants and cafes in the GCC over the next five...read more
Congratulations to Francorp Pakistan’s client for the opening of Steak Escape in Lahore,...read more
KARACHI: Activity in the fast food sector was sluggish in Ramazan, with dine-in sales for restaurants in particular declined sharply. A source at a major fast food franchise said that sales dropped in the fasting month. “Ramazan means that companies have to take a more conservative approach, aiming to usually break even on costs for the holy month rather than looking at any profits,” the source commented. Moona Sohail, Managing Partner at Francorp, franchising company, seemed to concur with this view as well, although she added that the market did improve a little as the month progressed. “The activity did improve in Ramazan especially after the first few days or so but there was still an appreciable deviation as compared to normal months,” she said, One of the main reasons of depressed activity in the segment seemed to be the fact that restaurants operate on reduced operating hours. Activity during the daytime in these restaurants in particular comes to a standstill, she added, that the government regulations require restaurants to stay shut for most of the day time in the holy month. For example restaurants such as (certain branches of) KFC and Mcdonald’s open at 5pm and 6pm respectively compared to their near or complete 24-hour service for the rest of the...read more
MENAFA is officially on Dubai Chamber / Dubai Association Center (DAC) website as the only registered franchise association in the UAE.
Click on the link below for more info: http://www.dubaichamber.com/en/about-us/initiatives/dubai-association-centre/about-dac...read more
Bubble tea first descended upon Beirut in 2011, when a small hole in the wall aptly dubbed BubbleT opened next door to what was once Burger Nation in Hamra, where ZWZ presently stands. The Lebanese public was heretofore unfamiliar with the Taiwanese specialty beverage, which is tea-based and in its original format filled with tapioca balls. The tiny location in Hamra didn’t do much in the way of heightening general awareness about bubble tea, and even the kiosk that opened in City Mall Dora next to the food court never seemed to draw a crowd. Four years have passed, and a German bubble tea brand wants to do something about mainstreaming the pearl milk tea in Lebanon. Meito was born in Munich, utilizing the smarts of engineers and robotic designers to revolutionize the way bubble tea is crafted. You pick the tea base—green tea, jasmine tea, or black milk tea; then the flavor, ranging from the fruity (e.g., blueberry, mango, passion fruit and lychee are but a few) to the more luxurious (e.g., almond, chocolate, soya milk, vanilla); and finally, the spheres (tapioca pearls, popping bobas filled with fruit syrup, or JELL-O-like jellies). Step back and admire the barista as he concocts your order with the help of some fancy gadgetry. Meito became a sensation in Munich and extended its footprint to an international scale, first venturing into Egypt. Given its popularity in the North African country, Meito management decided to head to Beirut, and they’ve opened the first of seven planned strongholds in Ain Mreisseh, exactly where the storied Hard Rock Café used to stand. I had the opportunity to visit the café and enjoy not only bubble tea but breakfast as well. Opting for the savory—poached eggs on toast doused with hollandaise—among sweeter options including a fruit cup, yogurt parfait, and pancakes, I was dazzled when the plate proved to be scrumptious. Two delicate eggs resting on a bed of sautéed spinach and diced onions atop two halves of an English muffin gush silkily when poked at with a fork. Sop up the pool of yoke and hollandaise with the muffin, but you’ll probably require more bread, as the portion provided weighs in on the modest side. Ask if you can have your bread toasted—I love it crispy. Besides breakfast and bubble tea, Meito boasts frozen yogurt with a considerable selection of toppings, as well as a display of enticing baked goods that you’d find inside a local Starbucks. In fact, judging by the looks of the goodies on offer, I think Meito employs the same supplier, Zouk Mosbeh-based Le Meilleur. Meito provides indoor seating and an outdoor terrace. The views of the Mediterranean are absolutely stunning and unobstructed, even from Meito’s ground-level perch. This is the perfect place to bring a book or magazine or plug in your laptop (once the wifi is functional) as you enjoy a novel refreshing beverage a mere step from the seaboard. Meito is hosting a grand opening celebration Saturday, March 7, from 6 to 9 PM. If you’re in the area, drop by for the festivities and a taste of the goodness they’re bringing to Beirut....read more
Dr. Khalid Al Sharfa, Chairman of MENAFA and Mr. Tarek Tawfik, Chairman of Egyptian Franchise Development Association (EFDA) had a meeting today to explore the possibilities on how MENAFA and EFDA can work together for the benefit of the Franchise Industry in the Middle...read more