South African fast-food giant Barcelos Flame Grilled Chicken restaurant is set to open its first Harare branch this week, following the opening of another outlet in Bulawayo.
Barcelos is a renowned international restaurant worldwide famous for marinated Portuguese styled peri-peri chicken.
Company director Benson Muneri said the quick services restaurant is here to compete with the best that there is in Zimbabwe while heeding the call from President Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is indeed open for business.
"In true African spirit, we have acquired the master franchise licence to roll out this amazing brand in our beloved Zimbabwe. We aim to empower our locals by providing numerous business opportunities and employment while we drive this venture . We strive to contribute towards our economic growth as proud Zimbabweans who have returned home to invest, heeding the President's call," said Mr Muneri.
He said the franchise comes with a total investment of $4,5 million and already $350 000 has been invested at its first establishment in Bulawayo.
Mr Muneri further emphasised that there will be many business opportunities created for the locals through opening this brand in Zimbabwe and create employment under the New Dispensation's mantra of "Zimbabwe is Open for Business".
"Barcelos plans to open five more branches of the franchise in the next 12 months in Gweru, Victoria Falls, Mutare, Rusape, Kadoma and Kwekwe. Each establishment will employ about 30 to 35 workers and an aggregate of over 500 employees both males and females in Harare and more as we expand into other cities.
"This is to create the much-needed employment and business opportunities for local Zimbabweans to invigorate the economy and hopefully contribute to better standards of living that come as our corporate social responsibility," said Mr Muneri.
He added that this investment is a direct indication of potential for the country's economy as it comes barely ten months after another food contender Rocomamas opened shop in Harare, a demonstration of the confidence the investors have in the country's fast food retail business.
The new investment is likely to increase competition in the country's fast food retail business which already boast established operators such as Pizza Hut, Rocomamas, Nando's, Steers, Chicken Inn, Chicken Slice and KFC.
In Zimbabwe, Barcelos is owned and operated by Zimbabwean born Benson Muneri and Cleopas Mugomba in partnership with Barcelos International. Currently, Barcelos is headquartered in South Africa and has 80 successful outlets in that country. It also has immense footprint in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Namibia, Turkey Egypt, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Sudan, Canada, Jordan, Mozambique and Iran.