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Tablez signs franchise agreement with Famous Dave's.

Abu Dhabi: Tablez Food Company, the food and beverage arm of Lulu Group, signed on Monday a franchise agreement with Famous Dave's, a US-based restaurant chain specialising in pit barbecue.

Under the agreement, Famous Dave's will open four outlets in the UAE over the next three years, with the first two locations set to open in early 2016 in Abu Dhabi Mall and Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Tablez is set to open at least one outlet within another GCC country by 2018, but the location is yet to be confirmed.

Adam Wright, chief executive officer at Famous Dave's, said there are opportunities to grow beyond the four outlets in the next few years should demand grow.

The franchise agreement with Tablez marks Famous Dave's first outlets outside North America, with the chain currently present in the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada. However, it is also looking to tap into new markets outside the GCC's borders.

"We've had tremendous success in the Caribbean; Puerto Rico specifically. The Latin America markets and South America are opportunities for us, as well as Asia. The Philippines and China both provide opportunities as well as the markets that would be logical for Tablez like India, Kuwait, Qatar, and the overall Gulf region," Wright told Gulf News.

He added that he was not concerned about a slowdown in consumer spending on the back of lower oil prices as the expansion plan was a long-term one, whereas commodity prices are short-term factors.

Famous Dave's is listed on the Nasdaq exchange, with the company expected to announce its financial results in early November.

"We're optimistic on growing the business on the long-term through partnerships like this with Tablez, and as we build the right partners to franchise our business with, I'm sure we'll perform well on the long-term for shareholders," the CEO said.

Tablez Food currently operates Peppermill Indian Restaurant, Bloomsbury's, Galito's, and London Dairy. While the company did not disclose the investment put into the franchise agreement with Famous Dave's, Shafeena Yousuf Ali, the company's CEO, had earlier told Gulf News it was investing a total of Dh150 million to double its presence by 2018.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 13, 2015
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