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Trader Vic's to expand to India

Casual-dining and tiki bar pioneer Trader Vic’s said it has signed a franchise agreement that will see three of its concepts developed in India and Sri Lanka.

The new franchisee group is a partnership of JSM Corp. Pvt. Ltd. of Mumbai, India, and Gourmet Gulf Co. of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The 75-year-old Trader Vic’s, which is based in Concord, Calif., operates or franchises 30 Trader Vic’s, Senior Pico, Mai Tai Lounge and Island Bar and Grill restaurants, including 16 locations overseas.

Trader Vic’s joins a growing number of U.S.-based chains with restaurants in operation or under development in India, including Chili’s, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Domino’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Taco Bell and T.G.I. Friday’s.

“JSM is a highly successful and enthusiastic company with whom we are thrilled to be in partnership with,” said Peter Seely, Trader Vic’s president and chief executive. “India is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting locations in the world today, and we feel confident that our brand is in very capable hands.”

Sanjay Mahtani and Jay Sing, co-founders of JSM Corp., said they are “excited by the prospect of rolling out Trader Vic’s across India and then, at a later stage, the Mai Tai Lounge and Island Bar and Grill concepts.”

Their group and its partner, Gourmet Gulf Co., have the rights to develop five locations using a combination of Trader Vic’s concepts, Trader Vic’s representatives said.

In addition to Indian concepts, such as Lounge Shiro, JSM Corp. said its business portfolio includes licensed Hard Rock Café and California Pizza Kitchen locations, open and under development.

Gourmet Gulf Co. is promoted by The Daud Group of Oman and is a franchisee of California Pizza Kitchen, Yo!Sushi!, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Morellis Gelato, Trader Vic’s said.

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected].

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