As part of an ambitious growth strategy devised by CEO Joe Teixeira, Harry Ramsden’s, the iconic British brand, world famous for its fish and chips, has granted its first international franchise in over a decade.
Awarded to the Ahmed Hassan Bilal Trading and Contracting Company, a well-known Qatari business operating in the hospitality segment, the terms of the franchise agreement allow for five new outlets to open across Qatar within the next five years. Currently, sites are being explored across the region and assessed for their suitability however, it is confirmed by AHB that the first opening will take place in early 2015 at The Pearl, the Riviera-style man-made island developed in an exclusive environment in Doha and arguably the Middle East's most glamorous address.
Joe Teixeira commented: "This is a hugely significant step in our ambitions to both re-position and re-invigorate the Harry Ramsden’s brand. Fish and chips are arguably the UK’s favourite takeaway, selling over 255 million portions each year; however the international appeal of the dish cannot be underestimated.
"Over the past two years, Harry Ramsden’s has been enjoying record sales across the UK, with the universal appeal of our offering being clearly recognised further afield, as evidenced with the signing of this agreement. As we continue to move the brand forward, we are confident that we will be in a position to increase our international presence even further in the coming months."
This latest agreement is the brand’s third major franchise signing in just nine months. In October 2013 it was announced that Harry Ramsden’s would return to the roots of its eponymous founder, with the signing of a franchise agreement which will see 50 new outlets open in Yorkshire and create up to 500 jobs within five years. More recently, a franchise deal for Scotland was agreed which will see a further 50 new outlets open and a similar number of new jobs created by 2019.
With an eye to the future, Teixeira noted: “The signing of this agreement is real step forward in making Harry Ramsden’s a truly international brand. Whilst we enjoy high levels of brand recognition globally, currently this is not reflected in terms of outlet coverage. It is therefore our firm intention to make Harry Ramsden’s more accessible to the admirers it has, and continues to attract, both nationally and internationally.”