Java trains sights on hospitals, colleges in expansion drive


A Java House branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Restaurant chain Java House is set to open 14 more express branches by June 2020 targeting institutions such as hospitals and colleges as it shifts to kiosks formats that are less capital-intensive.

The firm, which currently has almost 70 outlets, is targeting to hit about 100 branches by the end of 2020.

The chain restaurant opened its first Express outlet (kiosks) at the United States International University-Africa off Thika Road in November 2017.

Other outlets are in Aga Khan, Nairobi and MP Shah Hospitals as well as on Peponi Road.

Java is also set to refurbish three of its biggest stores at the Junction, Sarit and Galleria malls, that will be the first to have a new Java stores look.

“Java House Africa as part of its strategy is opening up differing channels for its existing brands. We have experimented with an original Kiosk concept in Aga Khan Hospital and as a result of this the kiosk strategy is now firmly embedded with outlets in Nairobi Hospital, MP Shah, Peponi Road,” said Java Chief Executive, Paul Smith.

“As a result of this, we continue opening core Java stores as well as the new kiosk strategy and this financial year ending June 2020 will open 14 outlets.

“We will also be reimaging three of our biggest stores in Junction, which is due to open mid-October, Sarit and Galleria all of which will be the first of the new concept Java stores,” said Smith.

Java is set to use the express model to expand the Planet Yogurt (PY) branches, one of its four brands.

Java House Group also currently runs Java restaurants, 360 Degrees Pizza and recently launched fast-food joint Kukito-serving grilled chicken.

Kukito is part of Java’s diversification strategy it embarked on early in the year.

“Planet Yoghurt remains a strong brand for us, and the same kiosk approach is being applied to Planet Yogurt.

“We have trialled PY kiosk concepts in Junction and intend to roll these out across our estate.

“This will be a deliberate move over time away from the store concept for this brand,” said Mr Smith

“We feel this will give us greater flexibility for that brand, and in certain stores such as our new outlet that will be opening in Gigiri, we will incorporate PY into a combined Java, PY and Kukito outlet. In fact, you will be able to still get some elements of PY desserts in the new Kukito.”