First US brands win race to enter Libya

The opening of a small bakery in Tripoli early last month has marked the first time that a US brand has launched in Libya. Two fast food brands that already have a presence in the Middle East are currently working to open up the Libyan market.

New Zealand-based Burgerfuel announced earlier this year that it was planning to open a franchised restaurant in Tripoli in 2013. Meanwhile, California’s Johnny Rockets has already sold franchise rights in Libya, although it has not begun operations there yet.

Libya is one of the few countries in which McDonald's, the world’s biggest restaurant chain, does not have a presence. However, the firm’s website does indicate that the snack food giant has the North African nation on its radar.

“We have not set a firm date for the development of McDonald's restaurants in Libya,” a statement on the franchising section of the McDonalds website reads. “In the future we may take steps to open McDonald's restaurants in Libya.”

Dunkin’ Donuts is also rumoured to be interested in the market, while Burger King’s website indicates that there are “currently no franchising opportunities” available in Libya.

British firms, which have been operating in Libya since then-prime minister Tony Blair brokered a rapprochement with Gaddafi in 2004, were hard-hit by the uprising in 2011.

Marks & Spencer, Next, Monsoon and Dune are among the retailers that have operations in Tripoli and the second city of Benghazi. 

(Source: Arabian Business)

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