Just Falafel exterior

Just Falafel, a 46-unit QSR chain based in the United Arab Emirates, has announced plans to expand to the United States and Canada.

The company reports signing five area franchise agreements with various partners in New York City, New Jersey, Kentucky and San Francisco, as well as in the greater Toronto area. All told, Just Falafel plans to open 160 units in North America over the next 5 years.

CEO Fadi Malas noted in a statement that the North American expansion follows recent expansion by the company into the United Kingdom, where it had targeted 20 new store openings last year.

Just Falafel, which began with a single store in Abu Dhabi in 2007, is growing through franchising and has signed agreements to develop more than 720 outlets in 18 countries. Former Burger King executive Jim Joy has been tapped to serve as CEO of the newly formed Just Green Restaurants, the company's exclusive developer in the New York market.