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Wed 15th Jun 2022 - German Doner Kebab signs partnership with McDonald’s former largest UK franchisee
German Doner Kebab signs partnership with McDonald’s former largest UK franchisee: German Doner Kebab (GDK), owned by Hero brands, has signed a new development partnership with Atul Pathak, formerly the UK’s largest McDonald’s franchisee. Propel revealed in April that McDonald’s had taken control of its largest UK franchisee, the Appt Corporation, after completing a deal to buy out founder Pathak’s shares. The Appt Corporation was founded in 2003 by Pathak, and grew to 43 sites, which stretched from north to west London as well as into Berkshire. The business, which opened its first McDonald’s restaurant in Southall, employed more than 3,500 staff and served more than 30 million customers per year across its estate. Pathak’s GDK development plans include up to 30 sites, ten of which are set to be delivered by 2023 across the south of England. It comes as GDK aims to further strengthen its position as the UK’s fastest-growing restaurant chain and explore new formats, including drive-thrus. Pathak said: “It’s exciting to be teaming-up with GDK. After almost 20 years with McDonald's, I decided to sell my business and explore new opportunities that reflected the changes we are seeing amongst Generation Z and millennial consumers. It was a great journey to grow from one restaurant to 43 and be the largest franchisee of McDonald’s in the UK. But, I felt it was time for a new challenge and when the opportunity to partner with GDK arose it was a perfect fit for our new ambitions. GDK is at the forefront of a new age of fast-casual dining in the UK and is expanding across the nation with a dynamic and responsive consumer offering that places it firmly as the fast-casual brand of the future. It is an exciting time to be a part of the brand story and I look forward to playing a key role in strengthening GDK’s position as the UK’s fastest-growing restaurant chain.” The partnership with Pathak comes as GDK opens its 100th UK restaurant and forges ahead with plans to open 78 new restaurants in the UK during 2022, building significantly on the 39 opened during 2021. Now employing more than 4,000 people throughout the country, the fast-growing brand said it has a development pipeline of in excess of 400 restaurants during the next seven years. It said that total UK sales were also up 75% in 2021. Imran Sayeed, chief executive of GDK, said: “The arrival of Atul Pathak is a significant moment for GDK as we build the fast-casual brand of the future. He is an established and prominent franchisee who has experience in growing and developing a brand portfolio in the UK. Atul’s experience in drive-thru will also be invaluable as we explore more and develop new formats and concepts for the brand. It’s exciting times at GDK as we take our growth plans to a new level and we are very much looking forward to working with Atul to take forward his development plans and bring the GDK experience to more consumers throughout the country.” The company said plans for 2022 are in place to open 11 new restaurants in North America and the brand is also set to open its first restaurant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Ajlan Bin Ajlan Group, one of the largest investment and commercial groups in the Middle East, has been signed-up as the master-franchisee in Saudi Arabia, with a development agreement of 100 restaurants. Appt Corporation features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is updated monthly for Premium subscribers and will feature 589 companies when the next edition is released on Friday (17 June). In its most recent reported financial year, the business turned over £97.2m. The Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. The Blue Book also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. Meanwhile, German Doner Kebab is included in Propel’s UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK. The second edition, featuring 120 companies and almost 47,000 words of content – providing insight on the offer, locations, cost, business background, contacts and other key details – was sent out to Premium subscribers last month. It will be updated and sent out again every two months. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to sign up

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