Kevin Onyona, a Kenyan entrepreneur based in the US has revealed plans to set up 50 restaurants across the US.
Speaking recently on Alex Chamwada’s Daring Abroad show, Onyona said the ambitious plan of expanding his business is still on course despite setbacks occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurateur currently operates two restaurants in Maryland and Washington, DC.
Onyona is the owner of Swahili Village, a restaurant that specializes in Kenyan and African cuisine. The restaurant began in College Park, Maryland in 2009 before moving to Beltsville in 2016.
Last year, Onyona opened his second restaurant dubbed The Consulate, which is located at 1990 M Street NW, Washington, DC.
President Kenyatta launched The Consulate during his visit to the US in February 2020, lauding Onyona for his resilience and entrepreneurial spirit.
The businessman is currently setting up a new restaurant in Newark, New Jersey. Everything has been approved by relevant authorities. The new restaurant is directly opposite the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and is one of the 50 Onyona is establishing in major US cities.
“It means we are really beginning to break ground in terms of how we approach our locations. We are not on the backstreet anymore. We are on the main street of the top cities of America,” says Onyona.
Onyona hopes to set up new units in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Virginia by the end of the year. Once complete, the 50 eateries are expected to employ at least 3,000 people.
“What we did well was that we were able to work our financials in a way that we are attractive to banks. For the most part, it has just come out of you borrow, you pay back, you borrow you pay back you grow. It’s just simple economics because I don’t have anybody I can say you know write a check for me,” adds Onyona.
He says 65 percent of his customers are from West Africa, Americans (15%), and Kenyans (5%).