American burger chain Hardee’s has announced plans to open 10 additional restaurants in Nairobi, including an outlet at the upcoming Two Rivers mall in December.
Hardee’s mid last month opened its first shop in sub-Saharan Africa at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
CKE Restaurants Holdings, which owns the Hardee’s brand, says Kenya offered a perfect entry point to the region underlined by its geographical position and projected increased consumer spending on food and drinks.
“The airport was ideal to begin with as travellers identify with the brand and there is ready traffic. But it is limiting,” said Rohit Gambhir, general manager at Hardee’s Kenya.
“We now want to be in a mall and in other places where we’ll get to interact more with the locals and see what they want,” Mr Gambhir, an ex- KFC executive, told the Business Daily.
He declined to disclose the amount invested in setting up the Nairobi unit.
The Hardee’s JKIA outlet currently clocks between 200 and 250 guest checks daily, hospitality industry lingo for customer orders, some of which may be single or for groups.
The Nairobi unit has employed 45 workers, Mr Gambhir said, adding that it will hire a similar number for the Two Rivers outlet and other subsequent shops.
Hardee’s, known for its charbroiled burgers, currently has 37 restaurants in Egypt and operates a total of 3,711 stores in 39 markets globally.
California-based CKE Restaurants Holdings is the owner of Carl’s Jr brand, another burger chain, and acquired Hardee’s in 1997.
The 24-hour burger restaurant at JKIA has its menu priced in US dollars, with a daily applicable exchange rate to the local currency.
It also serves fries, soft drinks, beers, ice cream, and hot beverages such as coffee and tea.
Hardee’s is eying a location within Nairobi’s central business district for the third outlet planned to open in March next year.
Its entry to Kenya comes at a time when foreign restaurants and hotel chains have been jostling to set up shop in Nairobi, with some of the latest entrants being Burger King and Kentucky-based Pizza Hut.