Bolt’s Tracks & Records to the world
KLE Group eyeing franchise locations in US, UK, Middle East
THE KLE Group is eyeing locations in the United States, United Kingdom and the Middle East to open franchises of Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records (UBTR) restaurant and lounge on the heels of the star athlete’s historic ‘triple triple’ gold medal performance at the Rio Olympics last month.
“The KLE Group is currently actively pursuing several opportunities in the USA, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
We are in the process of negotiations and there have been increased phone calls of interest coming out of the incredible performance of Usain at the recently held Olympics,” Bolt’s manager, Nugent Walker, told Jamaica Observer yesterday in an e-mailed response to queries.
Bolt already has international appeal in the current target markets, but according to Walker, new trends in the restaurant business globally show that the introduction of themed and ethnic food franchises are on the rise.
“This comes as a result of globalisation and the rapid movement of cultures across the globe in the past 20 years. Thus, giving the UBTR franchise incredible opportunities in the global landscape,” he said.
Today, Bolt and officials of KLE will officially open Jamaica’s first Tracks and Records franchise at the New Pineapple Shopping Centre in Ocho Rios, the busy tourist resort town on Jamaica’s north coast.
The franchise operation follows the launch of Tracks and Records in Kingston roughly four years ago.
The Jamaican-themed restaurant was developed to capitalise on the global appeal of and affinity for Brand Jamaica, and to celebrate the success of the world’s fastest sprinter.
The lounge has since grown into a premier location for sports fans in Jamaica and international visitors.
“We are very encouraged and excited at the opening of the new franchise in Ocho Rios. We anticipate high levels of traffic, especially given the thousands of visitors to the port through cruise ships weekly,” Walker said.
He added that the operators of the franchise, Marsha and Joshua Jhamani, have partnered with local tour operators and have plans to implement weekly entertainment events to attract visitors.
The franchise will also become an entertainment hub for people who live and work in St Ann’s and is under contract for a period of three years with an option to renew on similar terms.
Tracks & Records’ flagship location is in The Marketplace on Constant Spring Road, spanning over 7,000 square feet of space.
In addition to bars, lounge areas and dining stations, the restaurant and lounge boasts over 200 seats, a mezzanine, VIP areas, hi-tech booth seating, and a retail shop that carries exclusive Brand Bolt products.
The Ocho Rios franchise is expected to replicate the ambiance and Jamaicaninspired cuisine of the Kingston restaurant.
Under the contractual agreement, a franchise will have the option to operate a location with or without Bolt’s name attached to the restaurant. The franchise operators in Ocho Rios have opted to use the attlete’s name.
— Karena Bennett