11th August 2017 – (London, England) Jamaican based franchise company, FRANJAM has signed a major contract
with the UK based Casual Dining Restaurants Group (CDRG) to open 15 Tracks & Records
restaurants across the UK over the next 5 years with the intention of developing beyond this.
This deal will signify the first Jamaican owned restaurant franchise concept to open on an
Tracks & Records, a Jamaican themed restaurant which boasts 8-time Olympic Gold Medalist,
Usain Bolt as a key partner, started operations in Kingston, Jamaica in April 2011 and is the
first restaurant of its type in the island. The restaurant opened its first franchise last year to a
Jamaican businessman and woman who operate in the island’s well-known tourist
destination. Tracks and Records brings an authentic Jamaican experience with a blend of real
Jamaican cuisine, entertainment and simply put the “cool vibes” that the Jamaican brand is
known for around the world.
“For us this is a significant milestone in the company’s development. When we created the
Tracks & Records concept it was done with these major markets in mind. The U.K. has been a
key target market for us since the conceptualization stage over 7 years ago and there is no
greater satisfaction than to see it unfold in this way. For Jamaica, I believe this signifies the
first time a local, home grown concept has evolved into becoming an International
franchise. This confirms brand Jamaica’s potential and gives us widespread hope that we can
export many other Jamaican brands through this business model, stated FRANJAM’s
Managing Director Gary Matalon.
Key Partner, Usain Bolt who just completed his last individual race at the IAAF World
Championships here in London stated, “I’m happy to be able to share a taste of the Jamaica
that I know and love with the rest of the world through the opening of these restaurants across
the U.K. – London has always been a special place for me and I thank Aly and CDRG for giving
us the opportunity to share our vision and our culture with you all.”
A Global Partnership with CDRG
CDRG is a private company and sister company to the SME Group that operates, under
franchise license, over 120 restaurants and hotels. Company Director and CEO, Aly Esmail,
is pleased with the addition of the Tracks & Records brand to their portfolio and is confident
about its future growth.
“We are pleased to add this incredible Jamaican brand to our growing number of franchises
across the world. This partnership with Usain Bolt and the Tracks and Records brand will allow
us to introduce an experience to our markets here in the U.K. that is as close as it gets to
actually visiting the island and will give them a real taste of Jamaica,” stated Esmail.
Matalon stated the importance of finding the right partners in order for the brand to expand
on a global stage. “As I’ve indicated in the past, we are a global brand and look to enter major
markets around the world. Most important, and sometimes most challenging, is finding the
right partners in the right markets. Aly and his team provide that and more. We are thrilled
to be building this brand in these markets with a group that has the degree of knowledge,
experience and passion as CDRG,” he stated.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, who is currently in London
also expressed his congratulations to the FRANJAM Team, “Jamaica is famous for great
food, great athletes like Usain Bolt and a culture second to none. Gastronomy tourism is a
big focus of enhancing tourism experiences right now and this deal will only amplify our
efforts of positioning Jamaica as a Gastronomy destination. Congratulations to the team on
an excellent achievement. We are all very proud.”
Even with the increase in Caribbean themed restaurants across the U.K., Matalon feels that
the timing is right for an authentic Jamaican experience. “This we’re most excited
about. I don’t recall there ever being an authentic home grown Jamaican concept entering
any international space to compete at this level. This is where we get to prove the power of
our brand. Aside from the point that the food, service and atmosphere will raise the bar for
casual dining in the UK on a whole, our ability to gain tremendous exposure will undoubtedly
result in a competitive advantage we intend to leverage in a big way. Tracks and Records is a
dynamic, multi-faceted brand developed around brand Jamaica which, by itself is an
extremely powerful brand. The use of Jamaica’s music, food and culture along with
the partnership with Usain Bolt will provide an entirely new level of customer experience and
marketability,” he stated.
With the contract officially signed, both entities are now shifting focus to the site search,
which can be challenging as the property market in the UK and in particular London can be
extremely difficult. Notwithstanding that, they are confident that the first location will open
within a matter of a few months.
FRANJAM is a franchise company founded to own, develop and license Jamaican themed
restaurants. FRANJAM creates opportunities for investors by way of buying into the Jamaican
franchise concept. Qualifying franchisees are able to acquire a franchise by paying a £50k
initial franchise fee. They can expect the overall initial investment to cost them an average of
US$1m with ongoing royalty payments that cover the use of the brand, the entire restaurant
system and ongoing support.