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Burger King to open fifth store in Lavington as competition rises

A Burger King
A Burger King store. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Fast food franchise Burger King is set to open a new branch in Lavington in a few months, increasing the store count in Kenya to five.

The eatery will be located at the new Shell Fuel Station, joining food chains KFC and Java that are tapping into traffic from the upmarket neighbourhood.

Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades in Kenya under the Shell brand name, opened the fuel stop in December last year while citing it as its single-largest investment among its service stations on the continent.

Burger King opened its first local restaurant at The Hub (Karen) in November 2016 under a franchise agreement with NAS Airport Services, a subsidiary of France-based catering firm Servair. This was following the opening of two restaurants in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire in December 2015 and April 2016.

Burger King’s expansion in the local market comes at a time when other brands are solidifying their grip.

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Competitor Big Square has ventured into the city centre with branches on Moi Avenue/ Mama Ngina Street junction and Muindi Mbingu/ Standard Street junction costing Sh80 million to set up.

Big Square’s unveiling of the latest branches and investment plan follows the launch of a drive through joint at Bellevue on Mombasa road in October last year and the unveiling of a 150 seat branch in Nyali, Mombasa at Cinemax.

Big Square has been on the expansion drive following a cash injection it received in March this year after a South-African based private equity fund invested Sh404 million ($4 million) to acquire an undisclosed stake.

Hardee’s has also served up competition for the burger market as well as local eatery Urban Gourmet Burgers.

Global players are turning to emerging markets such as Africa for growth, attracted by rising disposable incomes, fast economic growth and a young population.

Nairobi’s position as a hub for multinationals has also attracted global restaurant chains.

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