KFC opens new outlet in Kenya amidst French fries shortage

KENYA – US-based fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has opened a new branch in Nairobi, increasing competition with rival brands Java, ArtCaffé, Simbisa brands, among others operating in the market.

The fast-food chain, operated locally through franchisee Kuku Foods East Africa, opened the new branch at TotalEnergies Clay City on Kasarani–Mwiki road in Nairobi.

The new outlet will raise KFC’s national branch count to 26 and 38 across the East African region and according to reports by Business Daily, it also plans to open a new branch at Maiyan Mall-Rongai, Nairobi.

The branch expansion is coming at a time KFC has suffered a shortage of potatoes at its outlets in Kenya following delays in delivery from its overseas suppliers, forcing it to offer customers alternative food items in place of French fries.

The revelation brought heated debates in the country, with some questioning why the chain would run out of potatoes while there are Kenyan farmers producing the crop locally.

To its defence, KFC highlighted that it does not source potatoes locally and is forced to import due to limited traceability and Quality Assurance standards that ensure the raw materials are at par with the global quality and safety standards.

It is noteworthy that the fries shortage menace is not only unique to the Kenyan market as KFC in Australia and McDonald’s in Japan and Taiwan are also feeling the pinch of a snurled supply chain.

McDonald’s has been forced to remove French fries and hash browns from their menus and have warn shortage could soon hit the African market.

Meanwhile, Hotplate Grillhouse Zimbabwe has opened two new branches in Harare and Kwekwe, increasing its branch count in the country to 20.

The company’s director Mr Benson Muneri revealed that the opening of the two outlets costed US$200,000 and has created 50 job opportunities, raising its staff count to 500.

“Our aim is to continue exciting the nation through our “feed the nation national campaign”.

“We are a home grown brand and appreciate what our customers have made possible with this young brand,” he said.

The company’s rival brand Chicken Hut, recently opened its first branch in Bulawayo under a US$500, 000 investment.

The store is the fast-food chain’s 6th branch in the country with the other outlets located in Harare, Kwekwe, Gweru and Victoria Falls.

The Portuguese quick service food outlet expects to open 12 more branches this year in major cities and towns such as Beitbridge, Mutare, Chinhoyi and Harare.

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