HomeNewsC3 creates JV in Saudi Arabia

C3 the world’s fastest growing omnichannel food technology platform and Saudi Arabia based investment House WK Holding, have announced a joint venture to disrupt and revolutionise the region’s food, beverage and lifestyle industries.

C3 Arabia (the partnership created in Saudi Arabia between C3 and WK Holdings) represents a major international venture for C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), which manages and operates award-winning full service chef-driven restaurants, culinary centres, ghost kitchens and mobile delivery.

Launched in 2019 by Sam Nazarian, Founder and CEO, C3 has pioneered the food tech space. The fastest-growing restaurant group in history, C3 launched 165 locations in the US in its first year, achieving 1.3 million orders to date.
C3 currently operates over 250 digital brand locations across the US with an expansion pipeline to well over 1,000.

This past Spring, C3 launched its proprietary Citizens GO app, the industry’s first alternative to third-party delivery platforms. Citizens GO features a culinary marketplace of C3 digital restaurants allowing guests in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Austin, New York and many more US cities to come, to dine across different restaurants and group their menu choices into a single order. Citizens GO is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.


C3’s expansion into Saudi Arabia is fully funded by Smart Food Holding, a division of WK Holding, through its consortium of high-profile partners, including Layla Abuzaid and Yasser Alobaidan. Under the vision of founding partner Abuzaid, to position the kingdom as a global hub and epicentre of innovation, WK Holding’s portfolio includes:

RafaMFA- is a joint venture between RAFA (Saudi Arabia) and MF Group (the most significant event production company in Russia).
RUSSAD- is a company which operates as a bridge for Russian lifestyle companies wishing to enter the Saudi market.
SAPEG PE FUND established to facilitate foreign investments in the kingdom.
Abuzaid commented: “WK Holding is humbled to partner with hospitality legend Sam Nazarian whose pioneering track-record is unmatched. C3’s expansion throughout Saudi Arabia will democratise haute cuisine by owning the food tech space in the region and, we will assemble a best-in-class hospitality hub in the kingdom for the region, for the world. We will unlock local talents, celebrate our vibrant culinary culture, and export globally. C3 in Saudi Arabia is a world-first; no other platform has such transformative capacity to unite nations. From our home to your home; thisisbeyond – anewkingdom.”

Abuzaid continued: “We are resolutely ambitious, committed to the realisation of Vision 2030 and to playing our part in establishing the kingdom as an epicentre of excellence. Through the vision and passion of our beloved King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed together with our strong government leadership, Saudi Arabia will become a blueprint global destination where culture and communities thrive.”

The regional roll-out of C3 throughout Saudi Arabia will leverage the momentum of the advancement of the kingdom. C3 and WK Holding will assemble an operating team based in Riyadh to design and deliver best-in-class execution across the C3 Saudi Arabia operating platform, including sourcing the highest quality produce from local suppliers. And as part of its influence on cultural globalisation, C3’s efforts in Saudi Arabia will identify, mentor, and incubate local culinary talent in a move that will brand and export Saudi hospitality culture to the world.

No other restaurant group has amassed such an influential collective of globally renowned culinary talents. Across C3 portfolio brands, Chefs, Masaharu Morimoto, Dario Cecchini, Katsuya Uechi, Dani Garcia, Martin Heierling, Michael Israel, Vincenzo Rossy and Romain Fornell have made haute cuisine accessible, cultivating a global community of fans, including Cindy Crawford, Jon Bonjovi, Jaden Smith, Justin and Hailey Bieber, Diplo and Paris Hilton.

Commenting on the partnership Nazarian said: “We are thrilled to partner with visionary Layla Abuzaid and WK Holding. International expansion is key to C3’s growth and there is no better partner to take us into the influential Saudi Arabia market. WK Holding’s track record of successful execution and best-in-class relationships matches C3’s vision. Through partnership we are excited to introduce C3’s popular digital restaurant brands such as Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Kumi, Sa’moto and more to the Saudi community.”

Nazarian continued: “The C3 team is committed to the Saudi kingdom’s realisation of Vision 2030 and the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a global industrial powerhouse. Adding to that sentiment and through partnership we are aiming to inspire the world to come together through the love of food.”

C3’s expansion into Saudi Arabia is set to introduce 40 international brands to the region.

The first C3 site in Saudi Arabia, Citizens Food Hall, is due to launch in Riyadh in the first quarter of 2022. The omnichannel culinary centre will contain a curated collection of C3 culinary brands.

It will operate as a dining destination featuring full-service restaurants and a fast-casual food hall. Powered by a ghost kitchen, Citizens Food Hall Riyadh will also serve meal delivery and pick up orders placed via the “Citizens GO” app.

The Saudi joint venture between C3 and WK Holding is forecast to launch thirty brand locations in year one, rising to 110 absolute locations and 550 brand locations by year five comprising food halls, ghost kitchens, QSR, self-service, grab and go, drive-thru plus and mobile delivery.

C3 is looking at site locations at public and private developments at all scales, such as gyms, gas stations, airports, campuses, sports venues, malls and retail outlets, as well as Saudi mega-projects.

By unlocking hospitality in the kingdom through the disruption of food tech, C3 in Saudi Arabia will generate hundreds of jobs and bolster the economy of Saudi Arabia and the region at large through the motivation of hospitality and the development of private-sector infrastructure.– Trade Arabia News Service