Java House and US-based fast-food chain Subway are expected to open more outlets in Nairobi in the next couple of weeks as the fight for the middle class cash intensifies.
Subway opens its second store in Kenya this week on Kenyatta Avenue.
The store has taken over the space formerly occupied by Savannah Lounge, owned by Sasini Group, which closed its doors last year.
Subway opened its first outlet in September, at Junction mall and has recorded good business.
“We expect this one to do well. Typically city centre are our busiest stores with the core client being people looking for a quick meal,” said Christopher Bak, a director at Liberty Eagle Holdings, the local Subway franchise holder.
Kenyan Java House is set to increase its footprint with seven new outlets this year including five in Nairobi, a branch in Kampala and Kisumu.
It is eyeing to open an express coffee shop near Mama Ngina Street, another branch on Westlands Road, in Hurlingham and in Greenspan Mall, Donholm by September.
Java House is looking to invest between Sh344 million ($4 million) and Sh430 million ($5 million) to open up the new outlets, said managing director Kevin Ashley.
“It’s an exciting year. As long as you have the right business proposition there is demand,” he told the Business Daily in a phone interview.
About two years ago American private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) bought a majority stake of Java with the capital injection planned to drive expansion.
Other eateries including Artcaffe and Avanti Group of Restaurants are also fighting for a share of the pie.
Avanti, which took over the BookFirst restaurants, has nine branches across the country and is set to open a new one in April at Nakumatt Embakasi with another at Terminal 4 in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport later in the year.
In January Artcaffe acquired Dormans Coffee shop, a move that saw it increase its outlets across the city. It opened a new branch in Westlands last week at The Oval.
Coffee shops, restaurants and fastfood outlets have been on an expansion and capital raising plans in the race to tap Kenya’s emerging eating out culture mainly fuelled by an expanding middle class with higher disposable incomes to spend