Java to open five new outlets by October as rivalry grows

A Java House outlet in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Restaurant chain Java House plans to open five more branches in Kenya by October as it expands in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive with the growth and entry of more fast-food brands.

The coffee house said it will open two outlets at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and another one at Moi International Airport in Mombasa targeting hundreds of travelers going through the facilities.

Java will also open a branch in Eastleigh in Nairobi as well as in Machakos town as it seeks to spread its wings across the countries.

“We are opening up five Java outlets by October because there is increased demand for our services in the market,” Java House Africa Group chief executive Derrick Van Houten told the Business Daily in an interview.

"You also need to know that the business is back on its feet and we are making money and so we need to grow.”

The opening of five outlets will raise its total branch count to 87 across the East Africa region. Java at the moment has 75 branches in Kenya, four in Uganda and three in Rwanda.

There is increased competition in the fast-food category as rivals offering near similar servings expand in the major towns and cities where rich and middle-class consumers are concentrated.

Simbisa Brands, the owner of the Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Bakers Inn, and Creamy Inn outlets, plans to open an additional 55 branches in the country in the short term.

Other fast-food chains are KFC and Subway. The businesses are recovering from the lockdowns and other restrictions that hampered eating out during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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