Sarova Hotels, one of the largest Hospitality brands in East Africa, has ventured into the restaurant business as part of its expansion and diversification.
The chain has opened two restaurants at Urban Eatery in Westlands— Chiso that will focus on Japanese, Malay, Thai, Indonesian and Chinese food and The Kitchen, which will offer Western, African and Indian food.
The hotel says it targets foodies who want to experience a luxury culinary experience.
“Taking our cuisine brands out of our hotels and making them stand alone restaurants is our latest new development,” said Jimi Kariuki, Sarova managing director.
“This has been a very challenging year for the hospitality industry. But despite this, we at Sarova have seen this as an opportunity to innovate and to be creative through ‘exporting’ our cuisine experiences outside of our hotels.”
During the launch, Sarova Hotels and Resorts Director, Food and Beverage Operations, Shailendar Singh, expressed that “The current situation has presented an opportunity for exploration and the hospitality industry is experiencing a wave of reinvention in terms of choice and culinary services.”
Analysts from Cytonn Investments says the decision by the hotel chain to diversify its portfolio to the restaurant business has been prompted by the reduced number of hotel bookings attributable to a slowdown in the tourism industry and an overall decline in international arrivals.
“Despite being negatively affected by the pandemic, the decision by the Sarova Group of Hotels and Resorts to continue investing in the Kenyan hospitality sector indicates investor confidence in the resilience of the sector.
In addition, the choice of Westlands area as an investment node is supported by the presence of high and middle-income earners with relatively high disposable income and spending power, presence of a huge working population as it is a key commercial node and ease of accessibility in and out of the area.”