Industry News | July 24, 2013

Jake’s Prepares for Stores in Middle East and Africa

Jake's Wayback Burgers joined forces with international franchise development expert, Topaz MENA LLC, to embark on its recent international initiative as the brand seeks franchisees to own and operate multiple locations within 28 countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).

The fast-casual franchise, with a reputation of serving up fresh, big hand-made burgers and real milkshakes, has come a long way since spearheading national franchising efforts in 2009. As burger concepts continue to thrive, Jake's Wayback Burgers differentiates itself playing homage to high-quality burgers combined with a family-friendly atmosphere in which burgers are served up the way they used to be. By strategically positioning itself with Topaz MENA, the franchise is confident with its growth plans for international markets.

The Topaz MENA team, consisting of veteran business all-stars Omar Babaker, chairman, Abdulrahman Alieedan, vice chairman, and Yasser Ibrahim, CEO, are ambitious, enthusiastic, and trustworthy partners who have the passion, capabilities, and drive to expand this successful U.S. burger concept in the MENA region. The trio has over six decades of combined experience growing iconic brands such as Cinnabon and Seattle's Best Coffee, Pizza Hut, and Burger King, and serving as board members for highly reputable companies including, and not limited to, financial institutions, insurance companies, retail chain businesses, construction, and contracting companies and real estate development projects worldwide. Their leadership, work ethic, and record of achievements in business development, partner management, operations leadership, and customer relationships position them as experts in the industry.

Jake's Wayback Burgers was first introduced in June 2012 to Alieedan by Yendy Khayat, managing director of The Franchizery, a franchise consulting firm based in the United Arab Emirates. The Franchizery is committed to assisting Topaz MENA in finding the right partners in the Middle East and North Africa, one of the fastest growing markets in the world today.

"We have spent a great deal of time listing, short listing, and evaluating dozens of brands through shows, consultants, and directly, but Jake's Wayback Burgers proved to be most attractive," Alieedan says. "We believe in the brand's deeply rooted history and because of its flexibility, cost efficiency, quality, and menu range, we are confident it will quickly become a franchise leader in the MENA region."

After becoming intrigued with Jake's Wayback Burgers, Topaz MENA recruited seasoned franchise expert, Ibrahim, most notably recognized for his incredible success developing operation performance for more than 270 Burger King restaurants in the MENA region. As CEO, Ibrahim is responsible for all aspects of franchisor and sub-franchise operations.

"Our international franchisees are given all the tools they need through support both locally from Topaz MENA, which is centrally located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, strategic locations for international business development, and internationally from Jake's Wayback Burgers' corporate office headquartered in Cheshire, Connecticut," Ibrahim says. "The Jake's Wayback Burgers team is professional, dedicated, and supportive with a focus on quality and
excellence in everything they do."

Jake's Wayback Burgers currently has a presence across 22 states and operates in over 70 locations with a plan to triple its number of locations sold by the end of 2013. The fast-casual burger franchise has seen four consecutive years of system-wide sales increase and has projected that increase to continue and be replicated in the MENA region due to the consistent demand for its service.

"We are thrilled to be working with such a successful brand that has seen incredible growth in just four short years, and are determined to bring it through Topaz MENA as it expands in the international arena," Babaker says. "The Middle East and North Africa region offers prospects access to promising markets that are lucrative in terms of volume with a strong buying power, a growing drive for eating out and a young consumer market."