Island Poké, the UK’s leading poké operator, has signed-up its first two UK franchise partners.
The new partnerships will bring a development pipeline of 23 Islands over the next five years, trebling its current UK footprint, alongside the 42 already planned in France and Benelux over the same period.
The agreements have been announced following a recent investment from Hero Brands and will create in the region of 350 jobs.
The development plans will initially focus on London with the first new Island to open in Camden Market on May 17, however discussions are also underway with further partners which have the potential for a further 50 Islands throughout the UK.
Known for its innovative menus, energetic service and interiors that evoke feelings of the Pacific shores, Island Poké was one of the first movers in the market when founder James saw the opportunity for a vibrant, healthy and interactive grab and go concept.
The brand has since developed a loyal following particularly amongst office workers looking for lunch alternatives to the mainstream sandwich and similar offerings. The agreement will see them moving into more residential areas, a key focus as working patterns change due to the pandemic.
Island Poké founder James Gould-Porter says, “We’re so excited to be announcing our first two franchise partners for Island Poké.
“We are just beginning to ease-out the Pandemic which has been a hugely challenging period for the hospitality sector and these latest partnerships show amazing confidence in our brand.
“Hero Brands has given us key investment and expertise in growing our franchise model and it is also extremely pleasing to secure our first two partners so quickly after they have come on board with us,” he added.
Island Poké is leaning on Hero Brand’s leading industry expertise and operational infrastructure as it sets its sights on becoming the go-to poké brand both domestically and abroad.
Hero Brand’s Chairman Athif Sarwar says, “Hero Brands is responding to emerging consumer trends and focused on growing the brands of the future.
“Island Poké fits with our DNA and we are working with James and the team to bring our expertise and embark on our ambitions to create a truly global brand.
“The first two partnerships are the first steps in this journey and shows the huge potential of the concept and brand as we emerge from the Pandemic.”