Eat n Lick targets regional expansion

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Quick service restaurant firm, Eat n Lick, says it is geared for regional expansion as it spreads its footprint and boost its foreign currency generation, a senior official has said.

This follows its re-opening programme after Covid-19 induced lockdowns that were effected on March 30, 2020, which saw businesses scaling down operations together with reduced movement of people to limit the spread of the pandemic.

Managing director Tsitsi Musabayana said the fast food group, which now has a branch network of 13 across the country, is already making headways towards increasing its reach within Zimbabwe before spreading into the region.

This will also enhance the group’s foreign currency exposure at a time Zimbabwe is experiencing shortages on the official market.

“Within the next three years, we are planning to go beyond our borders and open businesses in the region.

“We have a well planned structure to open more shops in Harare this year as we consolidate our market base in the capital. More branches are coming across the country as we also look at regional expansion,” she said in an interview on Friday at the re-opening of its First Street Branch in Harare and unveiling of the new brand, new products and services.

During the re-opening ceremony, the fast food firm also unveiled a self-service machine, a first in Zimbabwe, which allows customers to make orders and payments without interacting with staff in the restaurant. A message will be send to notify a customer to collect their order when ready at the collection counter. Using the same software, customers can place orders from where ever they maybe and state the exact time they wish to collect their orders in order to cut on any delays at the restaurant.

This, Mrs Musabayana said was also in line with promoting social distancing as the country is still fighting Covid-19.

“You can also download our application and make your order, for instance, while still at home or office. There is no need for you to be here, you just come and pick your order. We are also providing delivery services for free within a 20 kilometre radius,” she said.

The services will be spread to other Eat n Lick branches as they start their reopening programme following Covid-19 temporary closures.

Mrs Musabayana acknowledged the economic environment was challenging and affected the fast food industry which called for innovativeness to remain ahead of competition.

She said: “If disposable incomes fall, this affects our industry because people won’t afford to buy our products. “In such an environment you need to be innovative, this is why we are coming up with all these new services, a fresh new look to enhance the ambience and in line with modern trends.” – Herald