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Lincoln Hospitality Group (UAE) Is to Expand Its La Serre Brand Internationally

17 May 2021 - Opening in prestigious London store is one of nine planned by the group over the next 12 months, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and India

Dubai-based Lincoln Hospitality Group is to expand its La Serre brand internationally with an outlet set to launch in London’s prestigious Harrods department store in 2022.

Originally opened back in 2013, the restaurant, which has become an institution in Dubai with its Boulangerie and Bistro Chic, attracts a clientele which includes families and businesspeople, French football players and members of the Dubai Royal Family.

Founder and CEO of Lincoln Hospitality Group, Ralph Homer, told Arabian Business La Serre will be occupying a 3,153-square-foot space inside the famous Knightsbridge store.

He said: “We are extremely delighted and very grateful to have secured this site, it is an amazing opportunity for us as a group. Our aim with this site is to show the world that Dubai home grown brands can operate in the most competitive markets. Our collaboration with Harrods is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team to make this happen and it is only the beginning as we continue our expansion plans globally.”

The opening is one of nine planned by the group over the next 12 months, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and India.

La Serre will open in Habtoor Palace, Dubai, alongside the group’s other concept, Dynasty, a private, members-only venue; while they have partnered with Abu Dhabi-based Aldar to launch in Q2 2022, in what will be the first licensed Boulangerie in a mall in the UAE.

Homer said: “We’ve been in talks with them for a few months and we’ve decided to go ahead with it. It’s a similar structure to what we have in Dubai, a massive terrace, the only difference is the terrace is temperature-controlled and it can be used in summer as well as winter.”

La Serre will also be opening a 10,000 square foot venue in the Saudi capital Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District. “It’s going to be our flagship entry into Saudi. It’s a very important market for us with 39 million population. That is scheduled to be opening in Q1 next year,” said Homer.

Three locations have been confirmed in Qatar, with a fourth “in the pipeline”, while Homer said they were looking to open a unit in Delhi Airport, India.

And a dark kitchen concept is set to open at the end of the month, in partnership with delivery giants Deliveroo.

Homer explained: “If you’d come to me and asked me to open delivery before the pandemic I would’ve said it was impossible, I wouldn’t do it, it’s just not our model, it doesn’t work. Surprisingly it did very well. Once everything reopened, we continued with it, we enhanced it, we launched a very advanced packaging line and product line to satisfy the customers and we tied up with Deliveroo.

“They said they would like to have our venues in the other side of the town, JLT, Barsha and Dubai Marina, and I said perfect. And so, at the end of the month, we’re launching the dark kitchen.”

Earlier this month, Lincoln Hospitality announced that it was accepting franchise proposals for La Serre and its Distillery brands throughout the GCC as well as globally.

Homer revealed they had signed up with London-based franchise and licensing consultancy company Presman and Collard with a view to exploring opportunities in countries including Oman, Bahrain, India, in Africa and, in time, across Europe. He also said they are in discussions for a “prime spot” in Moscow’s Red Square.

“The reason we are not owning our brands in these territories, we can penetrate the market with the local market knowledge and investment. From an infrastructure point-of-view we’re well set up and we can support them through our team in order for them to transform the DNA of La Serre to these territories,” he said.

“It is a faster way to expand into markets that we don’t understand. For instance, we wouldn’t franchise within Dubai territory, I’ve been here myself for 47 years in Dubai and I prefer to keep this market; London as well, I’m 20 years-a-veteran in London, back and forth between there and Dubai.”

Arabian Business