Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures (PSE: PIZZA), operator of the Philippines’ single largest brand of chained full-service restaurants, has opened its first store in Dubai, expanding its footprint in the Middle East where it is leveraging on the large population of Filipinos in the region for future growth.
The new store represents the first for franchisee Aljeel Capital, a Dubai-based group, which is committed to open nine more in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over a span of five years.
“We are excited to have more stores in the UAE, with our flagship Dubai restaurant finally open and with the overwhelming turnout we had during opening night,” said Aljeel Chief Executive Officer Firas Hurieh.
He added, “We are proud to say that our store broke several Shakey’s records on that day – the highest total net sales during opening day and the largest number of pre-sold loyalty program ‘Supercards’”.
The Philippines’ number one full-service brand drew a huge number of patrons in Dubai, with long lines and guests patiently waiting close to an hour to enter.
Located opposite Burjuman Mall and just a few steps from EXIT 4 of Burjuman Metro Station (one of the busiest stations in Dubai), the new store is strategically located and very accessible, thus attracting good traffic and high brand visibility. It features the familiar store environment of a Shakey’s pizza parlor in the Philippines and offers the many iconic products which many Filipinos have grown to love.
“We are bringing Shakey’s to Dubai and we assure Filipinos living there that all of their favorites will be the same as it is in the Philippines,” said restaurant manager Alfie Alcazar.
Everything on the menu is halal-certified, in line with Dubai’s Islamic culture. However, the key features and flavors that make for a Shakey’s trademark experience are meticulously kept intact. Marinade, breading, dough blends, and spice mix for the pizzas, chicken, and spaghetti are all flown in from the Philippines.
“Dubai, UAE, and the rest of the Middle East are great markets for us. Aside from the strong and welcoming Filipino communities which really love the Shakey’s brand and are excited about experiencing it away from home, PIZZA is also a Western concept with Western menu – thus giving us tremendous growth opportunities within the mainstream markets there,” said Vic Gregorio, President and Chief Executive Officer of PIZZA.
Shakey’s, best known for its World Famous Thin Crust Pizza, is recognized globally as the original pizza franchise. It is also known in the USA as “The Pizza that started it all!”. Shakey’s first opened in the Philippines in 1975 where it currently maintains market leadership in both the full service and pizza chain categories.
As of end March-2018, PIZZA had a total of 212 stores locally. The store in Dubai is the second international store for PIZZA which owns the perpetual rights to the Shakey’s brand for the Middle East, Asia (excluding Japan and Malaysia), China, Australia, and Oceania. With two area development agreements already signed up, its total international pipeline is currently at least 20 outlets over the next few years.
Mr. Gregorio added, “We are excited to bring Shakey’s and its ‘Fun, Family, Pizza’ positioning to other countries in our part of the globe. We are confident in the success of our new markets and look forward to more partnerships as we continue to build a bigger and better Shakey’s.”