ZIMBABWE – International fast-food retail giant KFC is planning to open more branches in Zimbabwe, in a development that will result in employment creation in the country.
Bruce Layzell, general manager of New African Markets for the Yum Restaurants International — a subsidiary of KFC — said the company’s vision was to be accessible to as many people as possible in the southern African country.
“We want to paint Zimbabwe red with KFC. We want to have as many restaurants as we can and as soon as possible,” he said without giving specific figures.
However, the Daily News is reliably informed that the company plans to open twenty-five shops in the country.
Layzell, who officially opened KFC Zimbabwe’s new shop in Belgravia yesterday, said the company was geared up for stiff competition in the fast food sector.
KFC is likely to challenge the dominance of Innscor Africa group’s franchise, Chicken Inn and a rival indigenous outfit, Chicken Slice.
The global fast-food chain last month re-opened an outlet in Harare after leaving seven years ago in the midst of an economic slump.
KFC, which had outlets in Harare and Bulawayo, turned its back on Zimbabwe at the height of its economic crisis in 2007.
The franchise re-opened after the owners settled a row over chicken imports with authorities insisting that only locally-produced chickens could be served.
Chicken producer Irvines Zimbabwe will now supply the chickens.
Businessman Kevin James — owner of Consolidated Farming Investments and a leading investor in the fast-food sector in Zimbabwe — is behind KFC’s re-opening.
James is also the chief executive (CE) of Country Bird Holdings, the third biggest chicken supplier in South Africa.
KFC, an international fast-food franchise with a presence in more than 80 countries, has returned to Zimbabwe with the opening of an outlet after two local businesses acquired the area monopoly, sources familiar with the developments said.
Initially the franchise wanted to bring chickens from South Africa, but this was in violation of local statutes which ban such imports, delaying the opening by one year.