As Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records restaurant prepares to launch in November, the chain is looking at breaking into the Japanese market ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
The company has been receiving interest coming out of Japan and will be heading there following the London launch to discuss potential opportunities for Tracks & Records in Japan.
Usain's move to Australia to play football has also generated great interest for a Tracks & Records Australia.
“The company is actively looking at the possibilities to really take Tracks and Records and brand Jamaica to the world,” FRANJAM Managing Director Gary Matalon told the Jamaica Observer.
Usain Bolt will be travelling to London in November for the official launch party of the first Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records Jamaican bar, restaurant and late lounge in the United Kingdom.
The Jamaican-chain restaurant is 12,000 square feet and will have a soft opening on October 10. It will be the first of 15 restaurants to be opened across the UK over the next five years.
Split across two floors, downstairs boasts a stylish bar, dancefloor and club where reggae music and live DJs play until late, alongside a Jamaican-inspired chill-out area to immerse guests in the island's vibes.
Upstairs the restaurant will sit 175 people, and standing about 300 comfortably. Downstairs has a total capacity for 250 people with 180 in the main room, 25 in the boardroom and 45 in the Appleton room.
“Currently the focus is very much on the launch of the first Tracks & Records in London with the plans for the other 14 locations across the UK to be announced in due course. However, we have looked at potential locations including Birmingham, Brixton, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Manchester and several others across the United Kingdom.,” Matalon told the Business Observer via e-mail.
SME Group PLC, the UK franchise owner, was founded in 1982 and the company portfolio has grown to operate various franchises including KFC, Pizza Hut Home Delivery, Costa Coffee, Warren's Bakery and hotels. After 36 years, the company is now diversifying its portfolio further to introduce innovative and authentic new, full-service and fast-casual concepts to the UK.
Offering an authentic slice of Jamaica in the heart of the capital, Tracks & Records will be located a few minutes walk from Liverpool Street Station at 94 Middlesex Street, E1 7EZ. It will be open from 11 am until midnight Monday to Wednesday and until 1 am Thursday to Saturday. The train and tube station is the third largest in London and is at the centre of the City, London's financial district – packed full of offices and busy pubs, bars and restaurants.
“After much success with our Tracks & Records restaurants, we're delighted to be opening in the UK. I believe this signifies the first time a local, home-grown concept has evolved into becoming an international franchise and this further confirms Brand Jamaica's potential and gives us widespread hope that we can export many other Jamaican brands through this business model,” Gary Matalon said.
The unique space features a mix of bold flavours with Usain's sports memorabilia and a soundtrack of reggae and dub, courtesy of live DJ sets from some of the leading names from the UK circuit.
Designed to give guests a real taste of Jamaica, diners can enjoy his favourite dishes, the release says, such “as jerk chicken and pork and fried fish and bammy – all packed full of authentic seasonings and spices”.
The rum bar features a carefully curated, extensive collection of more than 150 global rums – of which 100 are Jamaican, the release says.
The menu also offers an array of signature cocktails including traditional favourites and a new range all exclusively created for London.
Throughout the space guests will feel fully immersed in Usain's world as, alongside the trademark Tracks & Records dishes and drinks, the unique interiors have been created with his style in mind – including a slick bar, modern wall art and vinyls, as well as exclusive Bolt memorabilia throughout.
“Our new location, in the heart of the capital, is the perfect spot for friends to get together and embrace Jamaican culture by enjoying traditional flavours, while dancing the night away,” Matalon further stated.
Usain Bolt said: “London is my second home and a place very close to my heart – so it's brilliant to be sharing a taste of Jamaica in the capital.”
This is the UK's first Tracks & Records restaurant, with three others in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.