Ocean Basket tackles Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

South African originated seafood chain restaurant Ocean Basket is going into the East African market via Hoggers Limited. This forms part of an ambitious expansion drive aimed at hitting 300 outlets in 16 countries by 2017.

Ocean Basket announced this week that Hoggers Limited, who currently owns the rights to Steers and Debonairs in Kenya, has bought the exclusive license for Ocean Basket in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. This license has been granted for seven years, during which time Hoggers will operate Ocean Basket’s restaurants as well as the chain’s new take away offering as the market develops.

Grace Harding, who runs the Ocean Basket business on behalf of the shareholders, believes that “Hoggers is the perfect partner for us as we expand further into Africa. Having operated Debonairs outlets in Kenya for many years, Hoggers knows what it takes to run a successful franchising business in these unique markets”.

The rollout of the first store is scheduled for 2014 and all training for management, chefs and other staff will be done in South Africa. All products will be sourced from South Africa and distributed from Ocean Basket’s central hub in Midrand, as a way of maintaining the high quality of seafood to which Ocean Basket customers have become accustomed.  Restaurant fittings will also be sourced in South Africa, so that all restaurants will look alike no matter which country they’re in.

The licensing agreement with Hoggers was signed by Manny Nichas, who heads up new business at Ocean Basket. “This latest deal with Hoggers forms an integral part of our global expansion strategy, which is to have 300 stores in 16 countries by 2017”, said Nichas.

Ocean Basket recently opened a store in Lagos, Nigeria, and their second store is due to open there in September. Their first store opening in Mauritius was their busiest opening in the company’s history and they are due to open three more outlets in the country over the course of 2014. Further afield, Ocean Basket has seven stores in Cyprus and two in Dubai.

news@ujuh.co.za

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