Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
South St Burger on Friday opened a restaurant in Dubai's Ibn Battuta Mall, above. Mike Young / The National
South St Burger on Friday opened a restaurant in Dubai's Ibn Battuta Mall, above. Mike Young / The National

Canadian burger chain South St flips into Dubai

South St Burger, a burger chain based in Toronto, has followed Tim Hortons into the Middle East, a sign Canadian eateries are still hungry for growth in the region.

A burger chain based in Toronto has followed Tim Hortons into the Middle East, a sign Canadian eateries are still hungry for growth in the region.

South St Burger on Friday opened a restaurant in Dubai's Ibn Battuta Mall, and plans further expansion in the region, in its first venture outside Canada.

The move follows last year's entry of the Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons, which has plans for a total of 120 outlets in the Middle East.

Asad Mahmood, the operations manager for South St Burger in Canada, in Dubai overseeing the launch, said the Ibn Battuta outlet would be followed by a restaurant in Jumeirah this year. "Right now, South St Burger is only in Canada. This is the first overseas franchise," he said.

Mr Mahmood said there were plans for at least five restaurants in the UAE. "We want to do five in a year. If we get better locations, we can get more than that. The UAE is a growing market. Every chain from all over the world - from retail to food - is here."

South St Burger, which was launched in 2005, is owned by the Canadian chain New York Fries, which has had a presence in the Middle East for many years.

Al Awael, the franchise partner for New York Fries, is also the local partner for South St Burger in the UAE, according to the Canadian company. No one from Al Awael could be reached for comment.

Tim Hortons launched in the UAE with a high-profile marketing drive.

Mr Mahmood said South St Burger would advertise its entry into the Middle East in local media and on billboards.

"We do have a marketing plan. But obviously we won't be able to do what Tim Hortons did because [it is] a huge company," he said.

Sahar Zareei, the operations manager for South St Burger in the GCC region, said the chain planned further branches outside the UAE.

"We are going to launch in other [Arabian] Gulf countries - anywhere we see the demand."

The eat-in restaurant at Ibn Battuta has received more than 500 customers since opening on Friday, Ms Zareei said.

"We actually had a Canadian from Toronto. He was very happy to see South St Burger here."

Ron Murphy, a Canadian citizen who lives in Dubai and works in operations at Emirates-CAE Flight Training, said he would pay a visit to the new restaurant.

"I've only had South St Burger a few times back home but any time a Canadian brand comes to the UAE I think it's great for us," he said.

But Mr Murphy added the brand was not as well known as Tim Hortons.

"Tim's has been around for a long time.

"It's like an institution back home, around every corner. It's kind of like the Starbucks of Canada," he said.

"South St is still growing - I don't think they're that popular yet. It's a little bit more upscale than the fast food stuff that you get. It's good."

bflanagan@thenational.ae

twitter: Follow and share our breaking business news. Follow us

iPad users can read the digital edition of business section as it was printed via our e-reader app. Click here

 

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National