Abrakebabra reveals expansion plans

With its ever-growing collection of fast food brands, Abrakebabra Investments is going from strength-to-strength generating a turnover in excess of 70 million euros.
Jess Sturman interviews

To date the Abrakebabra Investments group has five brands under its direction: Abrakebabra, Bagel Factory, Yo! Sushi and newer brands Chick King and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Abrakebabra Investments has big plans for its latest additions as Managing Director David Zebedee explains: 'Chick King is different to other Southern fried chicken fast food outlets because it is completely Irish. It is founded in Ireland and on the principle that all of its chicken-based menu items are from 100 per cent Irish chicken. All of the items on the menu are made using top quality ingredients.

'Over the next couple of months we hope to roll out a further five Chick King restaurants across the country, to date Chick king is open in Waterford, Arklow, New Bridge and Limerick. As a fast food giant, with over 25 years of experience within the fast food industry, we as a brand are equipped to build an indigenous franchise from scratch and are especially well placed to source suitable locations.'

'Gourmet Burger Kitchen has transformed the image of a burger from a fast food option into a sit down menu item. Developed five years ago, by two New Zealanders with help from London-based chef Peter Gordon, Gourmet Burger Kitchen offers customers classic burger flavours with a twist. These include: chicken, camembert, cranberry beef, avocado and bacon. New items added to the menu include chorizo and sweet potato, lamb and minted relish and Portobello mushroom. Outlets in Ireland are to use only 100 per cent Irish beef as the basis for their burgers. 'This brand is pitched at a higher level of spend than the regular fast food outlet,' explains David. 'We need to be selective in terms of location, especially as you need about 2,000 square feet of floor space.'

Abrakebabra Investments bought the rights to develop Gourmet Burger Kitchen throughout Ireland and as part of the agreement has promised to open 15 restaurants nationwide although there is potential to develop over 30 in the long term. David continues: 'The deal with Gourmet Burger Kitchen was that we would run the stores ourselves, although there may be franchisees in Ireland at some point in the future. This is a learning curve for us and we need to be familiar with the business model before we can franchise it.

'These restaurants are not rolled out as quickly as the conventional fast food outlets as they require a much larger investment in terms of fit out and cost, which could run to anything from half a million to a million euros. We are looking for franchisees to run Abrakebabra, Bagel Factory and Chick King franchises who are not only hard working but also committed to providing quality food and customer service. If they have these qualities they will have the ingredients to succeed and reap the financial and personal rewards of running a food franchise with ongoing support from us.'