Profit-making idea: Taking popular local restaurants to the next level

Emerging Capital Partners invested in Kenyan restaurant group Artcaffé

There are unexploited opportunities to take “the casual dining experience in Africa to the next level”. So said Carolyn Campbell, founding partner and COO of private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), in an earlier interview with How we made it in Africa.

Campbell notes that an entrepreneur who has developed a popular casual dining or café outlet, should consider growing the business by transforming it into a chain.

ECP first invested in the continent’s restaurant industry when it took a stake in East African chain Java House. Towards the end of 2018, it followed that up with an investment in Kenyan restaurant group Artcaffé. The firm recently also made headlines when it acquired the Burger King South Africa franchise.

“These businesses cater to middle-class people looking for a way to spend their disposable income during their leisure time. They also offer alternatives to the office for business meetings and provide a space for students to gather and study,” Campbell explains.

“We have seen how this concept has taken off in regions such as China, and we see a similar opportunity in Africa. There have been a few entrants coming in from outside, such as Burger King and KFC, but developing local entrepreneurs is particularly exciting for us,” she adds.

Further reading

[August 2019] Due Diligence: Private equity investor talks restaurants, Jumia and keeping an open mind
[March 2019] Five successful African food entrepreneurs who are hungry for more
[April 2017] Winging it: The man behind Nairobi’s first chicken wings only fast-food joint
[April 2017] Five high-growth companies targeting African consumers
[February 2017] How two brothers started Lagos’s first coffee-shop chain