SOUTH AFRICAN fast-food giant Barcelos will invest $1,5 million and open an additional four outlets in Zimbabwe over the next 12 months, according to an official.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
After opening a 100-seat restaurant in Bulawayo on Monday this week at a cost of $250 000, Barcelos — which operates 80 outlets in South Africa — plans to open four more in the country within a year.
The fast-food chain has about 120 outlets globally, with a footprint in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Namibia, Turkey Egypt, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Sudan, Canada, Jordan, Mozambique and Iran.
“The Bulawayo restaurant is one of the five that we are set to roll out in the next 12 months. Harare is the next one, then Victoria Falls, Gweru. We are still tofinlise the other location,” company director Benson Muneri told NewsDay in an interview.
Barcelos also plans to open some outlets in Zambia and Swaziland over the next 12 months, with plans for expansion into other regional countries.
After working 20 years in South Africa, Muneri — who holds the local franchise of the quick service restaurant chain — said he felt the time was opportune to invest in the country.
“I’m a product of Zimbabwe and I just thought it was time. The President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) has been calling on us Diasporans to come home and invest back home. I thought who else is better placed to do so than ourselves as locals.
So I took a little faith and decided to come back home and invest,” he said.
“I was in South Africa for the last 20 years and I have other outlets in that country. But I’m investing back home and I thought this was a good opportunity for me when the political climate changed.”
Muneri said each store would employ 35 to 40 people.
“Here in Bulawayo, there are 35 people and we are looking at additions because it has been well received. So, we are looking at extending both the operating hours of the store and the business itself because demand is high,” he added.