FAT Brands has announced plans to open 136 brick-and-mortar restaurant locations across five countries, as part of its plan to expand its footprint in the Middle East region.

FAT Brands will open its restaurant concepts over the next five years by partnering with Kitopi, the master franchisee for this deal.

It plans to open Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, Buffalo’s Cafe, Great American Cookies, Elevation Burger and Yalla Mediterranean concepts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

FAT Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn said: “The Middle East was among our brands’ first forays into franchising internationally in 2008 and the region continues to be a priority for FAT Brands’ expansion.

“Our existing concepts in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and other countries have seen tremendous growth and popularity among locals. We are excited to introduce them to even more delicious concepts from FAT Brands.”

FAT Brands’ restaurant concepts will be made available within the next year through Kitopi’s existing footprint of more than 70 managed cloud kitchens throughout the region.

Kitopi co-founder and CEO Mohamad Ballout said: “Our mission is to satisfy the world’s appetite, by delivering exceptional food on your terms.

“We do this by partnering with the best brands and providing our customers with access to the food they know and love. Our partnership with FAT Brands is a testament to that.”

In July, FAT Brands completed the acquisition of Global Franchise Group, a move that adds five new restaurant concepts to its portfolio.

The company currently owns 14 restaurant brands and franchises more than 2,000 units globally.