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14 August, 2014 - 14:23 By News Desk

Qatar chips into Harry Ramsden’s franchise


They’re used to producing a tasty end product from oil in the Middle East but Qatar has taken it to a new dimension – buying into Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip franchise.

And an East of England law firm kept the deal frying for Harry Ramsden’s to gush into the Gulf with its archetypal English fare.

Ashton KCJ acts for the Yorkshire-born company which is re-engineering its business on the international stage.

The firm’s franchise team dealt with the Qatar move. Damian Humphrey, the lead, works out of Ashton KCJ’s Norwich and Cambridge offices.

Qatar is Harry Ramsden’s first international franchise in over a decade. The iconic British brand, which has been serving its world famous fish and chips to generations of families for over 85 years, has awarded a franchise to the Ahmed Hassan Bilal Trading and Contracting Company, (AHB) – a well-known Qatari business operating in the hospitality sector.

Five new outlets are set to open across Qatar within the next five years. AHB confirmed the first opening will take place in early 2015 at The Pearl – the Riviera-style man made island developed in an exclusive environment in Doha, which is widely acknowledged as one of the Middle East’s most glamorous addresses.

This latest agreement is the brand's fourth major franchise signing in just nine months. Last October it was announced that Harry Ramsden's would return to the roots of its eponymous founder, with the signing of a franchise agreement which will lead to 50 new outlets opening in Yorkshire and create up to 500 jobs within five years.

More recently, franchise agreements to open 50 outlets in Scotland and 10 within the southern half of West Sussex, have also been signed.

Joe Teixeira, CEO of Harry Ramsden's said: “This is a hugely significant step in our ambitions to both re-position and re-invigorate the Harry Ramsden's brand.

“Fish and chips are arguably the UK's favourite takeaway, selling over 255 million portions each year; however the international appeal of the dish cannot be underestimated.

“We greatly appreciate the assistance given by the team at Ashton KCJ in helping us get this important first stage of our international expansion in place.”

• Photograph courtesy Andrew Dunn

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