A US-based food technology platform has announced a new $100 million Saudi joint venture targeting 550 outlets by 2026, with the first set to launch in Riyadh early next year.
Creating Culinary Communities (C3) Arabia has been valued at $100 million and will be 49 percent owned by parent company C3 with Saudi investment firm WK Holding owning the remainder.
Launched in 2019 by American serial entrepreneur Sam Nazarian, C3 currently operates around 250 food locations throughout the US. This year the company also launched the Citizens Go app, which allows users to order from multiple restaurants as part of a single order.
C3’s expansion into Saudi Arabia will be fully funded by Smart Food Holding, a division of WK Holding.
Layla Abuzaid, founder and CEO of WK Holding, said: “C3’s expansion throughout Saudi Arabia will democratize haute cuisine by owning the food tech space in the region and we will assemble a best-in-class hospitality hub in the Kingdom for the region, and for the world. We will unlock local talents, celebrate our vibrant culinary culture, and export globally.”
C3’s stable of culinary brands already includes chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Dario Cecchini, Katsuya Uechi, Dani Garcia, Martin Heierling, Michael Israel, Vincenzo Rossy, and Romain Fornell.
Nazarian said: “International expansion is key to C3’s growth and there is no better partner to take us into the influential Saudi Arabia market.
“Through partnership we are excited to introduce C3’s popular digital restaurant brands such as Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Kumi, Sa’moto, and more to the Saudi community.”
The C3 Arabia partnerships aim to introduce 40 brands to Saudi Arabia and the first, Citizens Food Hall, will open in Riyadh in the first quarter of next year.
Long term, the joint venture is planning to open 30 locations within the first year and reach 550 branded locations across the wider region in five years, including food halls, self-service outlets, drive-thru, and mobile delivery services.
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