Thu | Apr 27, 2017

Chris Issa to open UBTR franchise restaurant in Montego Bay

Published:Sunday | January 29, 2017 | 1:00 AM
Hotelier Chris Issa

Hotelier Christopher Issa will open a Usain Bolts Tracks & Records (UBTR) restaurant in Montego Bay by July this year.

The deal with Issa is KLE Group's second local franchise arrangement for the restaurant and will grow the chain to three.

"We are looking forward to creating an amazing experience for our hotel guests, tourists and locals alike," said Issa.

The restaurant will be located in St James Place Shopping Plaza, which adjoins Issa's newly acquired hotel property on Gloucester Avenue. Issa is in the process of redeveloping the former Breezes Montego Bay hotel, which will be renamed Spanish Court. The project is in the design phase.

The eatery will employ 45 people. It will offer the same Jamaican-infused menu as other UBTR locations, but unlike the others, it will also include a breakfast menu.

"For the visitors, we will employ strategies targeting the cruise ship passengers and hotel guests through a combination of direct channels, tour companies and transportation operators. We will also have a lot in store for the local market as well. Both groups will be targeted for the amazing atmosphere, food, beverage and merchandise along with live reggae music and major sporting events," said Issa in a release.

KLE Group operates the UBTR restaurant at Marketplace in Kingston. The first franchise, held by Marsha and Joshua Jhamani, launched last year in Ocho Rios.

KLE Group projects that Jamaica has the capacity to absorb two more UBTRs in the future, but there are active discussions with potential franchisees in other regions including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.

15 LOCATIONS WORLDWIDE

Ultimately, in five years, the company wants to grow the chain to 15 locations globally.

KLE CEO Gary Matalon said so far, the Ocho Rios restaurant is performing beyond expectations.

"In addition to the tourist traffic, we have seen overwhelming local support since opening. The franchisees have done a great job following the processes and upholding the standards. They have also been very successful at executing strategies to drive traffic," Matalon said.

business@gleanerjm.com