Dave’s Hot Chicken signs deal to spark expansion into the Middle East | Global Franchise
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Tuesday 16th August, 2022

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Dave’s Hot Chicken signs deal to spark expansion into the Middle East

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Dave’s Hot Chicken signs deal to spark expansion into the Middle East

The street-food brand is looking to open 31 locations throughout six countries in the region

Dave’s Hot Chicken has announced the signing of a deal with Walid Hajj to open 31 new restaurants across six countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. 

“This is a massive moment in the history of Dave’s Hot Chicken,” said Bill Phelps, CEO of Dave’s Hot Chicken.  

“Not only have we quickly established ourselves as the go-to for fast-casual Hot chicken in North America, but we’ll now be bringing our craveable menu to markets in the Middle East. With an established franchise veteran like Walid Hajj leading the way, I’m confident about the success of the brand in this new region.” 

All 31 stores are expected to open within the next eight years, and marks the brand’s second international expansion effort. A deal was signed in 2020 to open 30 Dave’s Hot Chicken locations in Canada. 

“I am a strong believer in the power of brands and the beauty of simple concepts. Dave’s Hot Chicken is both of these, and I think it’s well on its way to being a major leader in the industry,” said Hajj.  

“Moreover, the concept and the product are simple and superior, along with the amazing team behind Dave’s Hot Chicken who know exactly how to grow a brand and build a solid business. The Arabian Gulf Shore region is a chicken market that lacks a quality chicken concept, and we’ll bridge that gap with Dave’s Hot Chicken.” 

Hajj’s entire career has been within the restaurant and franchise operations industry, and has a keen eye for high quality, disruptor food and drink brands. He founded Cravia in 2001, the parent company of well-known brands such as Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Five Guys Burgers and Carvel Ice Cream. After selling Cravia in 2016, Hajj started Lavoya with a business partner, which includes a number of brands in its portfolio. 

“Bringing on an operator with credentials like Walid is a huge milestone in our franchise development efforts. The experience he brings in multi-unit ownership is impeccable and exactly who we want to help make our entrance into a new continent,” said Shannon Swenson, vice president of franchise development at Dave’s Hot Chicken.  

“This is an exciting way to kick off 2022 as we continue bringing Dave’s Hot Chicken to people around the world.” 

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