The Counter Custom Built Burgers, the popular build-your-own-burger restaurant that offers over 300,000 possible combinations, and Americana Group, the Middle East’s leading restaurant, food product distributor and retailcompany, announced today a development agreement to open and operate 33 new locations in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and England. The development agreement covers the next eight years and will make The Counter the leading premium burger restaurant in the region.
“Now is an exciting time to enter the Middle East marketplace with its double-digit economic growth over the past several years and its highly-educated younger population,” said Craig Albert, Co-CEO of The Counter. “The Americana Group is the premiere restaurant group in the Middle East and North Africa region, and we are honored by their enthusiasm for our brand. We look forward to introducing The Counter culture to these markets and are confident the Americana Group will translate our guest experience at the highest level.”
Mr. Marzouk Al-Kharafi, Chairman & Managing Director of the Americana Group discovered The Counter during his visits to Los Angeles and was instantly drawn to its custom built burgers, wide variety of choices, high quality of ingredients and hip, cool atmosphere. “The Counter experience is unique unto itself. Nor is there any premium burger restaurant in the Middle East that has the scale and variety that The Counter delivers,” Mr. Marzouk said. “This is a huge opportunity to bring The Counter’s one-of-a-kind experience to diners in the Middle East and United Kingdom where we are craving exceptional American-style burgers.”
The first locations are slated to open late 2012 in London, Dubai and Kuwait. Lamb burgers and Hamour, a local fish found in the Arabian Gulf area, will be new additions to the menu to highlight regional flavors, similar to the way the U.S.-based The Counter locations tailor some burger options for local markets.
There are currently 32 U.S. locations of The Counter, two international locations in Dublin, Ireland and additional restaurants opening soon in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at the Etoile Center and in Saar, Bahrain at The Avenues.