Updated: Aug 4, 2022
I am Döner, the award-winning better kebab brand backed by Think Hospitality, has signed a multi-site franchise deal to take the brand to Merseyside and the Isle of Man.
The partnership with Optimum Group, the company behind the franchise of Costa Coffee and Kaspa’s in Merseyside, will see the first UK franchise opening for I am Döner, with a first site due to open this summer in Liverpool. The deal, which was facilitated by Seeds Consulting, follows on from I am Döner making its international debut, with an opening in Dubai.
Dave Connor, chief executive of Optimum Group, said: “Having researched the premium kebab sector extensively for a number of years, we are pleased to have selected to partner with I am Döner. The brand is strong, systemised and led by an experienced management team. The menu and food really is the stand out feature, simply the best döner we have tasted. We just had to bring this brand to the north west of England. This new addition will be a great fit in our brand portfolio of coffee shops and dessert businesses. We will be opening two I am Döner outlets within the first year and at least ten within five years. We are proud to be the first UK franchise partner.”
I am Döner chairman James Hacon added: “We are excited to start our UK roll out with the team at Optimum Group, which has both the experience and vision to make this a massive success. This is the culmination of three years hard work from the I am Döner team where we have strengthened leadership and focused on taking a fantastic concept and making it run like a systemised well-oiled machine.”
Seeds Consulting founder Matteo Frigeri said: “We are delighted to be retained by I am Döner to assist with its ongoing UK and international expansion plans. A strong USP, a moderate upfront investment and industry-leading Ebitda margins make I am Döner the perfect food franchise not only for experienced groups like Optimum, but also other traditional and non-traditional hospitality operators in our network.”
I am Döner was started in 2016 by chef Paul Baron and has three stores in the UK – Headingley, Harrogate and Leeds city centre. Launched in 2006, Optimum Group operates 26 Costa Coffee stores across Merseyside, west Lancashire and Sale and Kaspa’s sites in Liverpool and St Helens.