Tracks & Records, which boasts Bolt as a partner, is aiming to open 15 sites over the next five years as part of a deal between Jamaican franchise company Franjam and the UK’s Casual Dining Restaurants Group (CDRG).
The restaurants are built around ‘brand Jamaica’ and serve burgers ‘a la Usain’; crock pots of curried mutton; and rum barbecue wings.
Tracks & Records, which has opened two restaurants in Jamaica since 2011, is actively searching for UK sites with the aim of launching in the next few months.
“I’m happy to be able to share a taste of the Jamaica that I know and love with the rest of the world through the opening of these restaurants across the U.K,” says Bolt.
“London has always been a special place for me and I thank CDRG for giving us the opportunity to share our vision and our culture with you all."
The number of Caribbean restaurants in the UK has boomed in recent years. Turtle Bay operates nearly 40 sites and smaller operators such as Sugar Dumplin, The Rum Kitchen and Cottons have their sights set on expansion.
Franjam’s managing director Gary Matalon says this trend was key to the brand’s decision to launch in the UK.
“I don't recall there ever being an authentic home grown Jamaican concept entering any international space to compete at this level,” says Matalon.
"Aside from the point that the food, service and atmosphere will raise the bar for casual dining in the UK on a whole, our ability to gain tremendous exposure will undoubtedly result in a competitive advantage we intend to leverage in a big way.
“The use of Jamaica’s music, food and culture along with the partnership with Usain Bolt will provide an entirely new level of customer experience and marketability.”
Bolt, who holds the 100m and 200m world records, will retire from athletics after running the 4x100m for Jamaica at the London 2017 World Championships tomorrow (12 August).