High quality quick service restaurant franchise Southern Fried Chicken has opened in Dubai. The newly appointed Master Franchisee, Ahmad Al Najjar, who officially opened his first store on 28th May at the Dubai Marina, has ambitious plans to build a network of restaurants across the region, with the support of the UK based management team.

According to Chris Gibson, President of Southern Fried Chicken, Dubai is the latest in a series of Master franchises scheduled to launch this year, reflecting the vision of FFS Brands for global expansion and its particular focus on new regions including the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean, where there is huge potential for brand development.

The company has enjoyed a period of strong growth over recent months, having opened new master franchises in 6 new countries; most recently in Belgium, where the contemporary new look restaurant style, combined with an exciting, high quality menu, has proved a real success.

“There is a strong appetite for eating out and for high quality Western QSR brands in UAE,” Gibson explains. “Dubai is one of the fastest growing of the Emirates and we are absolutely confident that Ahmad will become one of our flagship Master Franchises.”
Southern Fried Chicken prides itself on providing locally sourced, high quality, fresh food. Many of its restaurants, although not all, use halal meat. FFS Brands has deliberately positioned the franchise away from the cheap, low-quality processed fast-food marketplace, instead focusing on fair prices, good service and a varied menu that can be adapted to provide regional appeal. This attracts a loyal customer base who return time and time again, and adds up to a great business proposition for franchise owners.

“Southern Fried Chicken offers all the benefits of a ‘big brand’ QSR, but at much more affordable cost,” concludes Chris Gibson. “Master Franchise owners have the opportunity to develop a chain of owned stores, or recruit franchisees; whichever option is agreed, we will provide maximum support for an agreed expansion programme over the first two to three years.”

National property and construction consultancy Wakemans has completed a major hotel renovation project that has brought a prime seaside hotel back to life.

The Clarence Hotel at Llandudno has re-opened its doors as a Travelodge hotel after a £4.6 million investment by Glasgow based Maven Capital Partners (MCP), restored the building to its former glory.

Wakemans provided quantity surveying and CDM services to MCP on the mixed use scheme which comprises an 82 bedroom budget hotel along with retail and restaurant space at ground floor.

“It was a complex restoration project, we have modernised most of the internal elements of the building but retained the historic façade so that the character remains intact as it is located within a conservation area,” says Wakemans director Adrian Aston.

“The redevelopment of this major landmark has been welcomed by the local community as it brings new jobs and a massive boost to the tourist economy.”



Mereway launched its new Town & Country collection in style last week, with a cookery demonstration from Master Chef Live winner Gareth Kyle, a lively ‘Ready Steady Cook’ competition and a fabulous evening at the Treehouse restaurant in the grounds of Alnwick Castle.

Invited guests joined Mereway at the Outcook cookery school, run by Mereway retailer Outlook Home Enhancement Centre, in the heart of foodie town Alnwick, Northumberland. Gareth Kyle is the brand ambassador for the Town & Country collection and he demonstrated four dishes, using local ingredients that could be prepared in both a Town and Country style giving guests the opportunity to shuck Oysters from Lindisfarne and prepare a Champagne dressing.

“It was a magical event,” said Mereway sales and marketing director Graham Jones.  “Everyone joined in the fun in the cookery school as we challenged them to create their own Town or Country dishes from a selection of ingredients.”

The concept of the Town and Country collection was presented by Graham.  He explained how this bold new collection opens up new possibilities for designers to mix and match traditional styles with a contemporary twist, to create an eclectic array of possibilities and designs which have never been possible before. Mereway designers Bruce Thomas and Ian Robinson demonstrated how this works with an interactive display that illustrated how different finishes and door handles can change the look.

The day concluded with a meal at the wonderfully atmospheric Treehouse restaurant, a unique building located in the grounds of Alnwick Castle, which was made famous by the Harry Potter films.

Freelance journalist Linda Parker said, “It was a fabulous trip, so much fun, and wonderfully informative too.”


Copyright 2013 DDPR