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RESTAURANT chain, Barcelos, has invested more than US$200 000 in an expansion drive aimed at opening up three more branches in Zimbabwe.

The South Africa-owned entity says its investments are driven by the growing confidence in Zimbabwe as a business destination.

The company plans to open new branches in the resort city Victoria Falls, Msasa and 7 Miles in Harare. Barcelos opened its first branch in Bulawayo in August 2018 and since then it has established over 10 outlets countrywide in places that include Harare and Mhondoro.

Company director, Mr Benson Muneri, told Business Chronicle that the opening up of additional outlets would create more employment for locals.

“We are busy with the establishment of three new stores namely Msasa Harare, 7 Miles Harare and Victoria Falls branches and each outlet will employ 15 locals,” he said. “The cost of setting up each outlet is US$75 000. The Msasa Harare branch will be opened next week while the 7 Miles Harare and Victoria Falls branches will be opened in June and July respectively,”

said Mr Muneri.

He said the fast-food chain organisation has devised means to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen restaurants operating at half capacity due to the induced lockdowns.

“We have had to adapt to the new normal just like every other versatile brand as music was hard in the beginning and we are now normalising,”

said Mr Muneri.

“We also support the arts sector as we proudly support anything local and home-grown the same way we pride ourselves with the massive local support we are receiving.”

He said they were also at an advanced stage towards opening up new stores in Botswana and Namibia. Barcelos is headquartered in South Africa and has over 80 outlets in that country. It also has a footprint in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Namibia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Sudan, Canada, Jordan, Mozambique and Iran.

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