Alshaya takes Cheesecake Factory franchise

MH Alshaya Company has entered into a licensing agreement with the US restaurant brand The Cheesecake Factory to build and operate The Cheesecake Factory restaurants in the Middle East.

The first two restaurants are scheduled to open in Dubai and Kuwait in 2012.

The partnership represents the first international expansion for The Cheesecake Factory.

The brand already has a strong reputation in the Middle East and Alshaya expects to develop a portfolio of restaurants over the next five years across the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.   The franchise agreement also gives Alshaya the opportunity to expand into other markets, including the rest of the Middle East, North Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey.

The new partnership further develops Alshaya’s Food Service offer, which has expanded greatly in recent years to reflect the market potential in the region and the strong consumer demand for international brands.   
Alshaya already partners with a number of leading Food Service brands including Starbucks, Dean & Deluca, PF Chang’s, Pinkberry, Le Pain Quotidien, Asha’s and Pizza Express.  In 2010 it signed agreements with three further US-based food concepts: Shake Shack, Potbelly and Texas Roadhouse, all of which are expected to open their first outlets in 2011.

David Overton, Chairman and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory, said: ““With our menu featuring over 200 items that are prepared fresh daily in our restaurants and our focus on quality and hospitality, our restaurants are extremely complex to operate, and we set the bar very high in terms of our standards.  We found the premier partner in Alshaya to operate and execute The Cheesecake Factory restaurants in a manner that is consistent with our existing domestic operations.  The portfolio of restaurant and retail brands that Alshaya operates is impressive and speaks to its capabilities in successfully bringing leading brands to the Middle East, a highly desirable and growing market for American brands.”

Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of MH Alshaya Co., said: “The quality and popularity of The Cheesecake Factory brand, coupled with our local market expertise, as well as our track record of launching and operating high-profile American brands in the Middle East, produces a winning combination.  We continuously ask consumers in the Middle East to tell us which US-based casual dining restaurants they want most in their local markets.  The Cheesecake Factory is always at the top of the list.”

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