Flippin’ Pizza continues its international expansion with a master franchise agreement for over 25 locations, across various countries in the Middle East. Magnolia Middle East Group (MMEG), a food and beverage operator in the Middle East region, opened doors to its first United Arab Emirates branch of Flippin’ Pizza, on Thursday, November 21, at the China Court of the Ibn Battuta Mall. Their partner in the Middle East, master franchisee Nael Mustafa of Magnolia Enterprises, has experience with other multiunit franchises including Just Falafel, a local brand, and Elevation Burger. The inauguration of the new Flippin’ Pizza outlet is part of the company’s move to invest over $100 million into the UAE, bringing unique brands like Flippin’ Pizza to strong growth markets with appropriate demographics that suit the brands they have selected.
“Flippin’ Pizza presents you with that genuine ‘I’m from New York’ taste and feel—a mouthwatering pizza that is authentically hand tossed to perfection,” says Salam Abou Karroum, head of marketing at MMEG. “With the opening of the first Flippin’ Pizza branch in the UAE, we are bringing a small piece of New York to Dubai, and we hope to receive the same overwhelming response that this brand is renowned for from our local diners. As such, Flippin’ Pizza is part of our plan to invest USD 100 million in new dining concepts and facilities that offer ‘everyday food’ combined with excellent customer service. In fact, we are looking forward to opening two more Flippin’ Pizza outlets soon, in SZR and Jumeirah.”
Flippin’ Pizza’s CEO, Herminio Llevat, has the same optimism for the region as Mustafa. “We’ve been pursuing the Middle East for some time now, determined to find the right partner—a group that was well organized, well structured, and fully capable of executing an agreement of this proportion,” he says. “We’re excited about this particular deal, group, and market, and we are aggressively pursuing growth both domestically and internationally.”
Flippin’ Pizza’s first restaurant in the Middle East marks its entry into the region, and its second international location, encouraging progress in their worldwide expansion. Flippin’ Pizza opened its first international location in Mexico City at the end of 2012.