KENYA – Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), the US-based fast food restaurant chain is set to open four more outlets in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year even as competition from other fast food chains increases.

According to a report by Business Daily, KFC which operates locally through franchise Kuku Foods East Africa, will open new branches in Lavington, BuruBuru, Village Market and others in Eastlands.

The firm is also embarking on an expansion strategy with plans to open first of its outlets in Rwanda later in the year.

These add to a total of 32 outlets it operates in East Africa, 19 of which are located in Kenya.

“The investment in new restaurants is a major challenge, mainly due to the prescribed equipment, which is standard world-wide for KFC as well as the quality finishes which we are determined to keep at world class levels.

We have set aside a substantial sum of capital for restaurant development in 2018,” said Kuku Foods East Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Derrick Van Houten.

Early this year, KFC entered Ethiopia through a coffee chain franchise, Kaldi’s coffee shop brand, complementing Lori-Agro-Industry and Gusto Restaurant brands.

This came after reports that KFC’s owner Yum! Brands has been studying the Ethiopian market for a number of years as its next frontier to sustain its growth.

It has also acquired new restaurants some through franchises in a dozen African nations, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Angola.

Stiff competition from big players

In Kenya, expansion plans come in the middle of increasing competition from other restaurant chains who have entered to take advantage of the rapid urbanisation in the country.

These include sandwich chain Subway ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery, Japanese firm Toridoll and Domino’s Pizza.

The American fast food restaurant, Burger King opened its first Kenyan outlet in 2016, becoming one of the pioneer international food brands to bring new tastes to optimistic consumers.

According to a study by McKinsey & Co., global players are turning to emerging markets such as Africa for growth, attracted by rising disposable household incomes, fast economic growth and a young population.