Java House chain restaurant has today launched a new restaurant, specializing in grilled chicken, dubbed Kukito.
The Nairobi City Centre based restaurant is the first of its kind under Java with the company planning on opening three other Kukito outlets before January. Kukito is the fourth brand under the Java umbrella after Planet Yoghurt (PY), Java Express, and 360 Degrees Pizza.
Speaking to a business today reporter during the launch, Java House Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Smith said that the company is setting up these subsidiaries in order to infiltrate into smaller locations.
“It (Kukito) is a very young dynamic brand, it tries to go down and pick up what we used to be here in Kenya before. There used to be chicken and chips shops that were African and we are trying to bring that back.” Smith noted, “In Kukito we are bringing the Kenyan spirit, celebrating our origin through a nice local vibe. It is a brand for the young, witty and bold Kenyan.”
“These restaurants are predominantly aimed at the QSR (Quick Service Restaurants) region. We are also planning on moving Java into large stores and medium stores to allow us to infiltrate the smaller location,” he added.
Kukito is set to step up competition for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), which serves deep-fried chicken. KFC has an outlet directly opposite the new Kukito branch on Kimathi Street set to operate between 10 am to 11 pm.
The company that has a presence across Uganda and Rwanda previously ran a Planet Yogurt at the new Kukito branch. The branch has unique rustic decorations on the wall about random funny signs that Kenyans tend to put in different areas for instance ‘Mbwa Kali’.
The new brand is part of Java’s diversification strategy it embarked on early in the year. Locally, Java also plans to grow the branch count of its less capital-intensive express outlets. The outlets will strictly serve vegetarian meals.
The chain restaurant opened its first Express outlet (kiosks) at the United States International University-Africa main campus off Thika Road in November 2017.
Other express outlets are in Aga Khan, Nairobi and M.P. Shah hospitals as well as on Peponi Road. Java is set to use the express model to expand the Planet Yogurt branches.