The Al-Hokair Group, whose name has been associated with entertainment and tourism in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world since its establishment in 1965, has recently signed a master franchise agreement with Turkish Simit Sarayı, the aim being to open 100 new restaurants in the Middle East.
Simit, a ring of chewy bread coated with toasted sesame seeds, is one of the most widely consumed food products in Turkey, and Simit Sarayı is the best-known chain in Turkey to sell simit and related food products.
According to the deal, the Saudi group plans to open 100 Simit Sarayı restaurants by 2018 in countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan.
Noting that the company has decided to speed up its investments in the Middle East due to a high demand for the company's products in the region, Simit Sarayı CEO Abdullah Kavukçu said: “There is huge interest in simit in the region, and they love our brand. Our restaurant in Mecca, which opened in 2012, attracts a lot of customers and is the highest-profiting of all our restaurants abroad. Consumers love simit and the other pastry products we offer. Therefore, we have decided to sign an agreement with the Al-Hokair Group.”
Kavukçu also explained that the company aims to become a global brand and introduce simit and other Turkish pastry products to the world. “We receive 800 franchise proposals every month, on average, most of which come from abroad. We plan to open new restaurants in the UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan in 2014 and aim to have 560 restaurants abroad in total by 2018,” Kavukçu stated.
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