US-based fast-casual concept Slim Chickens and Kuwait's Alghanim Industries have signed a master franchise agreement to expand the brand across the MENA region, marking Slim Chickens' first venture outside of its home market.
Alghanim Indutries, based in Kuwait City, owns and operates more than 30 businesses in 40 countries across the MENA, Turkey, India and South East Asia. Its growing portfolio of 300 brands includes a number of US partners, including Mars and Wendy's.
Slim Chickens is known for its hand-breaded and grilled chicken tenders and wings, paired with handmade dipping sauces.
The first MENA-region Slim Chickens restaurant is expected to open in Kuwait in March 2017.
Alghanim Industries chairman Kutayba Alghanim commented in a statement: "We are committed to expanding our portfolio by partnering with one of the most pioneering, value-based consumer companies in the world, and we look forward to introducing the Slim Chickens concept to consumers across the Middle East.
"Alghanim Industries has a proud track record of developing successful businesses with huge growth potential that meet the needs of the region's expanding consumer base."
Alghanim Industries CEO Omar Alghanim added: "Slim Chickens is one of the fastest growing brands in the United States and we have no doubt that it will enjoy the same success in the Middle East. Alghanim Industries and Slim Chickens share key values: Both have strong community ties, an uncompromising approach to quality and strive, constantly, to exceed customers' expectations. We couldn't be more excited to help develop the Slim Chickens brand internationally, and open the first store outside of the US market in our region."
Slim Chickens CEO Tom Gordon said: "We are truly thrilled and honoured to partner with Alghanim Industries, and we look forward to working with the entire Alghanim Industries team to bring our fresh, hand crafted recipes and southern hospitality and service to the Middle East. Slim Chickens is about honest food, social meals, and a commitment to local communities. This partnership will allow us to expand that vision and voice in a new and expansive capacity, and connect with valued guests throughout the MENA region."
Alghanim is actively expanding its F&B portfolio, which began in 2013 with its franchise agreement with UK-based Costa Coffee. In 2015, Alghanim Industries acquired the rights to develop US-based Wendy's restaurants across the MENA region - the deal included all existing locations in the UAE and provided for further expansion into Kuwait in 2016 and Saudi Arabia in 2017.