Bahamian firm to open first Red Lobster in region by first quarter of 2022

Bahamian company Pinnacle Franchise Brands Limited is expected to open the Caribbean’s first Red Lobster in The Bahamas in the first quarter of 2022, the company’s Chief Financial Officer James Owen told Guardian Business yesterday, as the company launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $2.7 million for the development of this first location.

Owen said the location will be at The Mall at Marathon, with locations in western New Providence and at the redeveloped cruise port opening shortly thereafter.

Pinnacle’s Chief Executive Officer Christopher Mortimer said yesterday during the company’s launch on the crowdfunding platform ArawakX that it has been tasked with pioneering a Red Lobster to-go concept in the region.

Owen said that first to-go-style Red Lobster will be at Nassau’s redeveloped cruise port, which is slated to be fully completed and opened by summer of next year. He added that Pinnacle, based on its franchise agreement with Red Lobster USA, is contractually obligated to open in three markets across the Caribbean in the next five years. Those Caribbean markets include the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

He said the timing of the Red Lobster openings in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad depend on the state of COVID-19 protocols in those countries.

“The timing on those two will depend on economics and politics,” said Owen.

“Jamaica takes care of the initial tranche of restaurants that have to be contractually opened in five years.”

He said the second group of restaurants will likely be in the British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

He added that the timing of openings on those islands could be interchangeable depending on each country’s COVID-19 reality.

Mortimer said he and his team have been working on the Red Lobster franchise for a long time and planned its opening before the advent of the ArawakX crowdfunding platform. He said the platform is simply an opportunity for his company to allow Bahamians to become owners in a Bahamian company.

“This is an add-on. Red Lobster was happening anyway, but it’s an opportunity,” Mortimer said. 

“Normally these deals happen elsewhere and other people don’t get to benefit. I just love the idea of being able to, instead of a bank making everything, giving an opportunity for regular persons who want to be involved or who want to have a piece of it, giving them the opportunity of doing so.”

Mortimer said his company believes in transforming people into owners. 

Mortimer is also the franchise owner for Outback Steakhouse in the Caribbean.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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