Fish and chip brand Harry Ramsden's is set to open five new sites in Qatar after signing a franchise deal with the Ahmed Hassan Bilal Trading and Contracting Company. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
This is the brand's first overseas franchise in over a decade, with the first opening expected for 2015 at the Pearl, an exclusive man-made island development in Doha, with four other Qatari sites to follow.
The franchise is the brand's third recent deal in the past nine months; in October 2013 it agreed a plan to open 50 new outlets across Yorkshire, and another more recent deal laid the plans for 50 new outlets across Scotland by 2019.
Chief executive Joe Teixeira commented that the brand had seen record sales across in the UK in the past ten years but was looking to "re-invigorate" its position.
He said: "The international appeal of the dish cannot be underestimated…As we continue to move the brand forward, we are confident that we will be in a position to increase our international presence even further in the coming months.''
The group's estate has seen significant investment in the past three years, since Teixeira took over as chief executive in 2011. Over £2m was spent on updating sites in Blackpool, Scarborough, Great Yarmouth, Eastbourne and Bournemouth, while several have also opened at Welcome Break motorway services in recent years.