ECP Invests in Leading Kenyan Restaurant Chain, Artcaffe Group

20 Dec 2018

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) announces an investment to acquire a substantial majority in Artcaffé Group (Artcaffé), a restaurant and coffeehouse chain that operates fast-casual and casual concepts in greater Nairobi, Kenya. Artcaffé’s most prominent chain, Artcaffé Coffee & Bakery, is a full-service bakery, coffee shop, bar and modern casual dining restaurant. Other concepts include Urban Gourmet Burger, a gourmet burger and sports bar, OhCha Noodle Bar, serving fast and fresh noodle dishes reflective of authentic South East Asian “street food”, Tapas Ceviche Bar, a vibrant restaurant specializing in Spanish dishes and featuring lively happy hours, and the coffeehouse Dorman’s.

Artcaffé opened its first café in 2008 and now manages 26 stores throughout Nairobi. Artcaffé also operates a sophisticated central bakery, kitchen, and logistics center that prepares and distributes artisanal baked goods, food, and drink shipments to its restaurants daily. The central kitchen is key to the company’s business model, enabling consistent delivery of fresh and high quality products.

Artcaffé is known for its warm, vibrant, and diverse dining locations that are relaxed yet modern and that help define the increasingly cosmopolitan Kenyan dining experience. Paul Maasdorp, Managing Director at ECP said: “Artcaffé is an iconic Kenyan brand that has become synonymous with best-inclass service, excellent coffee, food, and baked goods. Kenyan customers are increasingly sophisticated, seeking global trends, and time-constrained, desiring greater convenience. The Artcaffé management team has done a remarkable job creating an exceptional dining experience and we are looking forward to working with them to bring this experience to more customers.”

ECP recently exited a widely-recognized investment in the sector that grew from 15 stores in Nairobi at the time of ECP’s investment in May of 2012 to over 60 stores across ten cities and three countries at the time of ECP’s exit in late 2017. There is immense opportunity in Eastern Africa for casual dining concepts. Alongside population growth and increased urbanization, demand for international cuisine and casual, high-quality dining experiences is rising.

Sagi Vaknin, Managing Director at Artcaffé said: “We are excited to partner with ECP, one of the most experienced investors in this sector and market. With ECP’s support, we are looking to bring an exceptional dining experience closer to our customers with many more stores and into their homes with an expanded delivery offering and network. The company’s position as a large tax payer, employer and driver of local supply chain growth with a focus on high international standards is expected to continue its positive impact on local economy.”

Virginia Mbiriri, Head of Human Resource at Artcaffé said: “The company’s growth continues to have a great impact on local employment. Our family of 1,300 dedicated and passionate staff is expected to grow at a rate of around 40 new hires per new store opening. We are very excited for our
management team all of whom have been with us for more than eight years. All of them started as waiters, cooks, and cleaners and today are holding key management positions all the way from logistics, store managers, and regional operation managers and all prospective opportunities this
investment presents.”

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