Casual Dining Group (CDG) has secured its first UK franchise deal, which will see its Belgo brand become the main restaurant at the Crowne Plaza hotel on London's King's Cross Road.
Belgo will be the main food and drink offer at the 429-bedroom hotel, which is being converted from a Holiday Inn and will be re-launching as a Crowne Plaza in December, when the restaurant will also open its doors.
The new agreement represents CDG's fourth franchise but its first in the UK, following the opening of a Café Rouge in Dubai last year and a Bella Italia in New Delhi, India, in March. It will be CDG's seventh Belgo and its fifth in London.
The deal has been struck with Firoka Group, founded by former Oxford United FC chairman Firoz Kassam, a long-term franchisee with InterContinental Hotels Group. Firoka Group also owns the Heythrop Park Hotel in Enstone, Oxfordshire, and Oxford's Kassam Stadium.
Mark Nelson, managing director of concessions and international franchising at CDG, said: "This is a very exciting development for CDG and Belgo; it's both our first UK franchise and an initial step into the dynamic food and beverage hotel market. Whilst we've opened franchised sites abroad, this is our first on home soil and demonstrates that we're exploring different channels and models when it comes to new openings."
Firoka director Feroza Kassam said: "Belgo has become the go-to brand for great Belgian food and craft beer, and we're very excited to be working with CDG to open its first UK franchise, within our new Crowne Plaza Hotel in the heart of King's Cross."
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