Kitopi, the Dubai-founded, tech-powered multi-brand restaurant, has announced its first Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Buyback Program. This buyback is on the back of its $415 million Series C fundraise last year, which catapulted the company to the coveted Unicorn status.
ESOP grants and ESOP buyback form part of Kitopi’s series of initiatives to acknowledge employees’ contributions in its growth journey. While ESOPs has been part of Kitopi’s benefits for senior hires from its inception, the company extended ESOP eligibility to managerial employees in early 2020, and further extended the eligibility to more employees. Today, 60% of Kitopi’s head office employees currently own ESOPs under its ESOP Grant Program. The launch of the ESOP Buyback Program signifies a further step in the company’s commitment to provide wealth generation opportunities for its employees as a form of reward and recognition.
Founded in Dubai, UAE in January 2018, Kitopi set out to bring the best F&B brands to customers on demand, while helping brands scale and expand across borders with minimal capital expenditures and operating expenses. Kitopi leverages its proprietary in-house technology to cook multiple brands in one single kitchen, taking care of the entire operations process- from supply chain and staff training to food preparation and delivery, to customer experience. From an initial focus on on-demand food delivery, Kitopi has since expanded its offerings to include meal plans and more-recently, dine-in concepts. Today, Kitopi employs over 4000 employees, operates over 200 brands, and serves customers from its 200+ locations across the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.
Commenting on the buyback program, Paul Zoghbi, Kitopi’s Chief of Staff said, ‘We’ve enjoyed tremendous growth in the past 4 years, thanks to our dedicated employees- without whom we will not be where we are today. This ESOP buyback is our way of acknowledging their contribution and showing our appreciation by making them real partners in Kitopi’s success. Beyond providing employees with a best-in-class employment journey and growth opportunities, we want to also be a source of wealth generation for our employees, and for them to be honored and recognized through ownership stakes in Kitopi.’