Avia Collinder, Business Reporter
KLE Group Limited says it has developed a franchising framework for the Usain Bolt Tracks and Records (UBTR) sports bar and casual-dining business, paving the way for roll-out in 36 American states and other countries, starting in four months.
KLE Chief Executive Officer Gary Matalon said he already has expressions of interest in franchises from four markets.
"I have expressions of interest from New York and Hawaii. I also have some preliminary interest from London and China, but nothing formal at this stage," he said on Monday.
Olympian Usain Bolt owns 6.76 per cent of the KLE Group held through his company Sherwood Holdings Limited.
"Within another four months, we will be selling franchises in 36 states in the US and most countries around the world. The interest in the concept has intensified in recent times, and we continue discussions with the very interested parties while we move to complete the work to finalise the process," said Matalon.
"We are extremely excited about this development and are looking forward to expansion of this brand offshore early in 2014."
Projections for earnings from the global push, he said, would first be disclosed to shareholders. KLE went public a year ago, last October.
"We are at the part of the Tracks and Records franchising programme process which includes the legal, operational and training documentation development. At this stage, we have completed all the franchise structure documentation," Matalon said.
The flagship UBTR restaurant is located at the Market Place on Constant Spring Road. It spans 7,000 square feet and features multiple bar and lounge areas, dining destinations, a mezzanine, VIP areas, hi-tech booth seating, and a retail shop that carries exclusive brand Bolt products.
The entertainment venue features 45 flatscreen TVs and has become known for live performances by reggae artistes.
KLE said elements of the design and concept would hold throughout all franchise restaurants, but did not specify them.
UBTR also operates in Falmouth, the capital of Bolt's home parish, Trelawny.