Cloud Kitchen Platform Kaykroo Debuts Entrepreneur Program To Bring International Restaurant Concepts To The UAE The UAE-headquartered foodtech company has already secured exclusive partnerships with select establishments from Lebanon and Turkey, giving them a boost to scale their businesses.

By Pamella de Leon

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Jihad El-Eit, founder and CEO of kaykroo

Cloud kitchen platform kaykroo has launched its Entrepreneur Program to provide individual restaurant concepts from across the world to enter new markets. Kicking things off with the MENA market, the UAE-headquartered foodtech company has already secured exclusive partnerships with select establishments from Lebanon and Turkey, giving them a boost to scale their businesses. As part of its long-term strategy, the initiative will also explore collaboration in other international markets, such as Europe, the United States and Asia.

The first cohort includes Beirut-based microdiner Husk, known for its menu of burgers, sandwiches and salads, and a new concept from Lamb House, the Levantine institute that's been serving authentic and traditional fare for over 40 years. Other F&B brands joining them is another Beirut favorite, Lahmajun, and Istanbul's Nelipide, who are bringing their selection of savory pies to UAE.

Source: kaykroo

Participants of the program will be able to work with kaykroo's team of experts to adapt their menus to a delivery model, from sourcing local suppliers to developing purpose-fit operational manuals that will ensure scalability and quality. In just a month, customers will be able to experience their new menus that is prepared ad delivered from one of kaykroo's 15 full-service cloud kitchens across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain. Going forward ahead in 2021, kaykroo will expand its operations in Saudi Arabia, with its first facility set to be in Riyadh.

Launched in September 2020, kaykroo set out with the mission to bring international flavors to the UAE community. The launch of the Entrepreneur Program follows after kaykroo raised US$4 million in a pre-Series A funding round in October 2020, and according to its release, with an additional $3 million bridge round closing this month. Jihad El-Eit, founder and CEO of kaykroo, comments on how it's time to give other restauranteurs, who have achieved success in their home markets, the same opportunity. "This initiative has never been about simply franchising big food chains- we're big believers in supporting fellow entrepreneurs. All the program participants are independent operators, who we selected for their passion and ability to create unique experiences."

The foodtech company has shown its expertise in transforming brick-and-mortar F&B outlets into a "brick-and-click" offering. Its portfolio currently includes Manou'she Street, The Good Bowl, Bak Bak, Fern El Balad, and more. The team is keen to apply the same data-driven approach to supporting participants in establishing their UAE operations. Based on current discussions with prospective restauranters, the team aims to introduce 15 additional concepts as part of its program by the end of the year.

Ramzi El Far, founder and Managing Partner of Husk Beirut notes on how it was a well-thought-out decision to find the right partner to explore growth beyond Lebanon, "kaykroo's tech capabilities and understanding of how to bring food brands to life reassured us that this was the right pathway for our expansion into the rest of the region, and hopefully one day, beyond." While Aline Kamakian, founder and CEO of Fig Holding SAL (the company behind Lahmajun) comments on how 2020 was a challenging year that strengthened their resilience to bring their food to new communities, "We are really looking forward to working with the kaykroo team to make this a reality, and help our brands continue to thrive."

Related: Founded In 2019, Dubai-Based Cloud Kitchen Food to Go Gears Up For Growth By Launching A Second Location

Pamella de Leon

Startup Section Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Pamella de Leon is the Startup Section Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East. She is keen on the MENA region’s entrepreneurship potential, with a specific interest to support enterprises and individuals creating an impact.

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