Smoothie King has signed a franchise agreement with Al Ghurair Retail LLC of Dubai to open 45 locations in the Middle East, beginning with the United Arab Emirates.
The franchise locations will reportedly feature a layout for faster service, allowing for quick turnover.
“American-brand acceptance continues to be robust,” Dan Hannah, Smoothie King’s vice president of international, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “The issue you face in the Gulf Cooperation Council states [Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates] is there is an over-supply of seats. Our concept is more of a grab-and-go enjoyment, which means we’ll likely have a good reception.”
Al Ghurair Retail, meanwhile, noted that the deal was expected to help meet a growing demand in the Middle East for healthier food and beverage options. Smoothie King is the company’s first food or beverage partner.
Currently, Smoothie King has approximately 730 units across 33 states, as well as South Korea, Singapore, and the Cayman Islands.