Java steps up fast food rivalry with chicken outlet

Java Kimathi Street Branch
Java Kimathi Street Branch. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Restaurant chain Java House has opened a new restaurant concept dubbed Kukito in Nairobi city centre, with three additional branches in the pipeline.

The fast food outlet on Kimathi Street will be serving grilled chicken and is the fourth brand under the Java umbrella.

Besides Kukito, Java House Group currently runs Java restaurants, Planet Yogurt (PY) and 360 Degrees Pizza.

Kukito is set to step up competition for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), which serves deep fried chicken

“Our chicken, prepared in a very special way, will be a healthier alternative to deep fried chicken. We are bringing good old grilled chicken, with a twist, stacked with a lot of local and traditional Kenyan flavour. “Kuku choma at its finest,” said Java chief executive, Paul Smith.


The company that has a presence across Uganda and Rwanda, previously ran a Planet Yogurt at the new Kukito branch.

KFC has an outlet directly opposite the new Kukito branch on Kimathi Street set to operate between 10am to 11pm.

“In Kukito we are bringing the Kenyan spirit, celebrating our origin through a nice local vibe. It is a brand for the young, witty and bold Kenyan,” said Mr Smith.

The new brand is part of Java’s diversification strategy it embarked on early in the year. Locally, Java also plans to grow the branch count of its less capital-intensive express outlets. The outlets will strictly serve vegetarian meals.

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

Other express outlets are in Aga Khan, Nairobi and M.P. Shah hospitals as well as on Peponi Road.

Java is set to use the express model to expand the Planet Yogurt branches.

“We have tried PY kiosk concepts in Junction and intend to roll these out across our estates,” said Mr Smith.