Natural food franchise Kauai is set to follow in the footsteps of Nando’s, as it is set to expand its global footprint by rolling out franchises in Europe and Asia, according to a statement from its owner, Real Foods on Tuesday.
Real Foods counts former Famous Brands CEO Kevin Hedderwick as well as former Brait CEO and co-founder Anthony Ball among its board members. Other businesses in Real Foods’ portfolio are NÜ Health Food Cafe, baked goods provider Schoon and its honey business, Brother Bees.
Kauai will hope to replicate the success of Nando’s, which has enjoyed popularity in European, Australian and American markets. While started in the United States, Kauai reached South Africa in 1996 and has been in the country since. Real Foods purchased Kauai in 2015.
The statement said the Thai joint venture will be called Dusit Real Foods, and will oversee the opening of several restaurants in Thailand.
“Dusit Real Foods already has four stores lined up through its long-standing relationship with Virgin Active health clubs, with the first store to open at the end of September,” the statement said.
The statement said Dusit International, which Real Foods will partner with in the Asian market, was a publicly listed Thai multinational hospitality company based in Bangkok, Thailand.
“The new stores will carry the brand name Real Foods, while still retaining the Kauai concept, store design and menu. Much of the menu will remain the same, with roughly 30% changing to meet local tastes, adding several Thai-inspired dishes like soba noodle salads, iced tea and coffee drinks,” the statement said.
Health food group buys out Kauai
Real Foods Group CEO Dean Kowarski said the company would work with Dutch franchisee Vineyard Catering to get the service going in the Netherlands, specifically in Utrecht Centraal railway station, where the first Kauai store in the Netherlands will be stationed.
“Vineyard Catering approached Real Foods with the belief that the Kauai brand would resonate with and attract the Dutch consumer. We view this opportunity as a platform for further expansion into Europe, with partner Vineyard Catering, which has a strong track record in food and catering,” Kowarski said.
Kowarski said Utrecht Centraal railway station was the largest and busiest railway station in the Netherlands, with 16 platform tracks, more than 1 000 departures and almost 200 000 passengers daily.