Customers being welcomed into BurgerFuel's new Cairo store
- its first in Egypt.
BurgerFuel chief executive Josef Roberts says political
unrest in Egypt is unlikely to have an impact on the company's
fledgling operations in the North African nation.
The Auckland-based gourmet burger brand opened its first
store in the country - in Maadi, an upmarket Cairo suburb -
at the weekend.
It is a new front in the company's Middle East expansion that
has seen 20 stores established across the United Arab
Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt since 2010.
Two more stores will soon open in Cairo and the New Zealand
firm's Egyptian franchise partner, Wadi Degla, has said as
many as 25 BurgerFuel sites could eventually be established
in the country.
Ongoing clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's
military-led Government - which deposed former President
Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, last year - have
scared off tourists and foreign investors, and weighed on the
But Roberts said the unrest had not stopped most Egyptians
from eating out and socialising.
"I think the turmoil will be there for some time, I suspect,
but it's isolated," he said. "There are many areas where life
goes on as usual and I think Maadi is one of those places."
BurgerFuel finalised a partnership with the founders of the
Subway sandwich chain this year, which the company is aiming
to use to enter new markets including the United States,
Britain, China and India.
BurgerFuel, which also operates 36 stores in New Zealand and
one in Australia, has said it hopes to open 1000 new stores
over the next eight years.
Roberts said BurgerFuel's first store in Kuwait, its fifth
Middle East market, was expected to open in about a month.
The company's shares closed down 5c yesterday at $2.20.
20 Middle East
36 New Zealand
- Christopher Adams of the NZ Herald