Americana operates some of the most popular F&B brands in these markets. With Reef, it will venture into open cloud kitchens. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One of the region’s biggest F&B operators, Americana, is getting into the cloud kitchen space, through a joint venture with Reef, an operator of delivery kitchens, logistics and proximity hubs in North America. The alliance will handle all of Americana, Reef and third-party brands in the region.

Americana Group owns exclusive franchise rights for the management and operation of over 1,950 restaurants and representing brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardee’s, Krispy Kreme, Wimpy, TGI Fridays, etc. in 13 markets across the Middle East, North Africa, and CIS.

In November 2021, Reef acquired iKcon Restaurant LLC, a UAE-based cloud kitchen company, marking the Miami-based company’s first major transaction in the region. In 2020, Mubadala Capital, a wholly owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, led a $700-million funding round into REEF, along with SoftBank, Oaktree Capital Management, UBS Asset Management and Target Global.

The proximity factor
Reef has a “proximity ecosystem” of over 8,000 locations and a team of over 18,000 team members, the majority of which is in North America. The company established its presence in the Middle East in August last.

To date, the company has partnered with a number of international brands to bring its cloud kitchens concept to local neighborhoods, including MrBeast Burger in Dubai and Another Wing, which Reed launched in partnership with DJ Khaled, opening 165 locations in three continents.

While building its infrastructure on recently announced acquisitions in the Middle East, the joint venture will “accelerate” REEF’s rapid global expansion through Americana’s established real estate portfolio and end-to-end value chain throughout the region. “Food tech is an exciting space and offers vast opportunities to grow our customer base,” said Amarpal Sandhu, CEO of Americana Restaurants. “As technology and ordering trends continue to evolve, we believe this collaboration will bring mutual synergies and benefit in the long run.”

By uniting the region’s largest and most established F&B operator with REEF’s culinary ecosystem, this partnership will bring convenient access to some of the most loved brands to neighborhoods across the Middle East and North Africa

- Michael Beacham, President of REEF Kitchens