CAIRO, Egypt — Editor's note: The video above aired July 12, 2022.
Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream has opened its second location in a district of Cairo, Egypt, with a development plan of 25 more locations in the works.
Founded by Joe Whitty in Davenport in 1972, Happy Joe's has taken its brand global over the years, with a recent revival in Egypt.
The brand was initially in Egypt starting in the 1980s, but eventually left over a decade ago.
The first restaurant reappeared in the Cairo suburb of Roxy in early 2023. The second opened earlier this month in the SODIC shopping district of Giza and is hosting grand opening festivities throughout the month.
The brother-sister team of Ahmed and Zeina El Batran is looking to make Happy Joe's a household name in the region. The siblings' father and uncles were previous franchise owners while it was in Egypt.
“Thanks to its unique pizzas and one-of-a-kind family-friendly environment, Happy Joe’s is an iconic brand for many across the United States,” Ahmed El Batran said. “The same holds true for many young adults in Egypt. My sister and I remember enjoying many meals with friends at Happy Joe’s and are proud to return the brand back to Egypt and spread that same emotional connection across the region.”
The franchisees have a development agreement in place with Happy Joe's and plan to open 25 locations throughout the region.
The franchise group plans on opening additional locations across Cairo, including in Mall of Arabia, Mall of Egypt and Egyptian Shooting Club before the summer of 2024.
Happy Joe's CEO and Chief Happiness Officer Tom Sacco believes the group is the perfect partner to grow the brand overseas.
“They grew up having fun in our restaurants and making memories eating pizza and ice cream with their friends, so they have a connection with Happy Joe’s,” Sacco said. “When you believe what you’re selling is the best, it’s much easier to sell. For us, Ahmed and Zeina aren’t just franchisees, they’re Happy Joe’s ambassadors taking our brand to a whole new audience.”
The company reports the SODIC location that opened this month is already tracking 300% higher guest traffic than a United States store on comparable orders over a one-week period.
Ahmed plans on taking the brand global with locations across Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.