Business

Tracks and Records to set up 15 locations in the UK

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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Jamaican-based franchise company, FRANJAM, has inked a deal valuing roughly 750,000 with UK-based Casual Dining Restaurants Group (CDRG) to open 15 Tracks & Records restaurants across the UK over the next five years.

The deal signifies the first Jamaican-owned restaurant franchise concept to open on an international scale, even as CDRG looks to acquire more locations in the country. The first location is slated to be opened later this year.

The Jamaican-themed restaurant, which boasts eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt as a key partner, started operations in Kingston, Jamaica in April 2011.

Tracks & Records restaurant opened its first franchise last year to hotelier Christopher Issa and has since expanded to three restaurants in Montego Bay.

“For us this is a significant milestone in the company's development. When we created the Tracks & Records concept it was done with these major markets in mind. The UK has been a key target market for us since the conceptualisation stage over seven years ago and there is no greater satisfaction than to see it unfold in this way.

“This confirms brand Jamaica's potential and gives us widespread hope that we can export many other Jamaican brands through this business model,” FRANJAM's Managing Director Gary Matalon stated in a press release.

Key partner Usain Bolt who just completed his last individual race at the IAAF World Championships in London noted that he is happy to share a taste of Jamaica with the rest of the world through the opening of the restaurants.

“London has always been a special place for me and I thank Aly and CDRG for giving us the opportunity to share our vision and our culture with you all,” he said.

The private company CDRG is a sister company to the SME Group that operates, under franchise licence, over 120 restaurants and hotels. Company Director and CEO Aly Esmail said she is pleased with the addition of the Tracks & Records brand to the portfolio and is confident about its future growth.

Matalon reasoned that finding the right partners in the right markets at times has proven to be the most challenging aspect of expanding on a global stage.

“Aly and his team provide that and more. We are thrilled to be building this brand in these markets with a group that has the degree of knowledge, experience and passion as CDRG,” he said.

Even with the increase in Caribbean-themed restaurants across the UK, Matalon feels that the timing is right for an authentic Jamaican experience as it will allow the company to prove the power of the brand.

“Aside from the point that the food, service and atmosphere will raise the bar for casual dining in the UK on a whole, our ability to gain tremendous exposure will undoubtedly result in a competitive advantage we intend to leverage in a big way. Tracks and Records is a dynamic, multifaceted developed around brand Jamaica which, by itself is an extremely powerful brand. The use of Jamaica's music, food and culture along with the partnership with Usain Bolt will provide an entirely new level of customer experience and marketability,” he stated.

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