UK food chain Chicken Cottage enters Kenya

UK-based fast food chain Chicken Cottage plans to open 50 outlets at Hass Petroleum’s service stations in Kenya and the rest of the East Africa this year, it announced on Wednesday. The company, which operates Britain’s largest halal fast-food chain, said it will open the outlets in a partnership deal with Express Kitchen, a subsidiary of AAH Limited.

AAH Limited is in turn the majority shareholder of Hass Petroleum Group which operates 150 petrol stations in ten African countries. Under the franchise deal, Chicken Cottage which runs 75 restaurants across Europe, Africa, Asia, and Middle East, will open outlets at Hass’s properties in Kenya alongside Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda starting with Nairobi in April.

“The first four restaurants are earmarked to launch this year with the first scheduled to open in Nairobi, Kenya in April 2022,” the firms said in a statement.

Chicken Cottage’s menu includes fried chicken, chips, burgers and wraps.

The deal gives the Malaysia-government-owned fast-food chain a ready pool of captive customers filling their tanks at Hass stations and a gateway into expanding into the region. It recently opened two restaurants in Nigeria.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Express Kitchen Ltd and their experienced team to bring our famous Chicken Cottage products to new customers across East Africa,” said Chicken Cottage group chief executive Shahrin Imran.

For Hass, the deal will help it to grow its non-fuel business at a time oil marketers are increasingly seeking to attract small consumer-focused businesses to their properties, a model meant to bring them rental income besides boosting fuel sales.

“The Chicken Cottage … products and its forward-thinking ethos complement our strategy to deliver a holistic family-friendly destination for our consumers,” said Express Kitchen and Hass Petroleum Group chairman, Abdinasir Ali Hassan.

In 2019, another Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades under the Shell brand name, said it would take a 50 percent stake in KFC in East Africa, in a deal with the owners of the fast-food franchise Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings.

The partnership with Chicken Cottage follows a similar deal recently announced by Hass with US pizza chain Papa John’s.