SOUTH AFRICA – YUM! Brands’ Pizza Hut chain is returning to South Africa after a six-year absence with a new focus on delivery meals and a plan to use the country as a platform to enter other parts of the continent.
The first new outlet will open in Johannesburg on Thursday, Randall Blackford, general manager for Pizza Hut Africa, said by phone on Tuesday.
Six more stores are planned for Gauteng by the end of this year. Pizza Hut will also open outlets in Zambia and Angola by the first half of 2015, he said.
“For us not to be in Africa seemed really a shame for a global brand,” Mr Blackford said. “As we start to look at the Africa pizza market it seemed like a really exciting market.”
International restaurant chains and other retailers are increasing their presence in Africa, which is home to the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population, according to a McKinsey & Co report in 2010.
Burger King opened its first restaurant in South Africa last year and said it would consider outlets elsewhere on the continent, while McDonald’s said in February it’s looking at new African markets.
When Pizza Hut last had a presence in South Africa in 2008 it was geared toward customers who sat and ate in its restaurants.
This time the company sees its biggest opportunity in a delivery and take-away offering, Mr Blackford said. Pizza toppings aimed at South Africans will include the boerewors beef sausage and spicy peri-peri chicken. – Bloomberg