KENYA – The third-largest pizza delivery restaurant in the world, Papa John’s International, is going to set up its first outlet(s) in East Africa, this September, in Nairobi.
Papa John’s will enter the Kenyan fast-food segment through Kitchen Express, a subsidiary of AAH Limited, the majority shareholder of Hass Petroleum Group, which operates 140 petrol stations in ten African countries.
The partners signed a deal back in 2022 for the launch and running of the outlets. Under the deal, Papa John’s which runs 5,500 restaurants in 50 countries, will open 60 outlets at Hass’s properties in Kenya and Uganda starting with Nairobi.
For a start, the group plans to open a total of 13 points of sale by December 2024 in the first East African economy as part of a strategy aimed at strengthening its presence on the African continent and more particularly south of the Sahara.
“Establishing ourselves in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time presents a great opportunity for Papa John’s to deliver on our…promise and continue our global momentum as a brand,” said Amanda Clark, Papa John’s chief development officer in a statement.
The fast-food subcategory in Kenya has seen many deals between food chains and fuel marketers, who are increasingly seeking to attract small consumer-focused businesses to their properties, a model that is meant to bring them rental income besides boosting fuel sales.
Many travelers in the country usually find it convenient to dine at fuel service stations and food chains due to conforming menu types and prices.
In 2019, another Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades under the Shell brand name, said it would take a 50 percent stake in KFC in East Africa, in a deal with the owners of the fast-food franchise Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings.
By setting up in Kenya, Papa John’s which has seen rapid growth in international markets in recent years will be taking on rival international brands that have already opened in Kenya like US-based fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), and Burger King.
Sandwich chain Subway, ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery, Japanese firm Toridoll, and Domino’s Pizza have recently opened more stores in Kenya.
In recent years, Papa John’s has entered 13 new countries, including Spain, Portugal, Germany, Cambodia, Pakistan, France, Tunisia, Iraq, Morocco, Kazakhstan, and Poland.