Saudi Arabian fastfood chain Taza has opened the first of three restaurants planned for the Central Florida market before the end of this year.

The outlet in South Orlando is 7,000 square feet and constructed with corporate offices in the rear and extra large kitchens to enable it to be used as a training centre for Taza franchisees of the future.

Taza#;s area general manager, Armando Nunez, explained that the move is part of a larger plan for expansion in the US. “Once we get it tweaked just right, we plan to sell franchises [across the US…] We have a lot of confidence in the US market. We think we have something unique to offer that will do well here,” he told The Orlando Sentinel.

Taza has already run an outlet in Chicago for about four years, but Nunez explained that the company chose Orlando as the base of its future operations for a number of reasons: “We looked at cost of living, demographics and a lot of other factors […] If you want to expose a concept to a lot of people who come from all over, there are two really good places to go — Las Vegas and Orlando. And since Orlando is family-oriented, and kids and the family are our target market, we settled on Orlando.”

The chain, which specialises in chicken products, was established as a family owned restaurant in Mecca about ten years ago. It has since expanded to include about 60 outlets based throughout countries such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

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