, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza brand, is set to invest about Sh500 million in the Kenyan market in the next two years.
Feast Limited is the operator of Pizza Hut in Kenya.
Feast has already invested more than Sh150 million in local operations that includes opening two retail restaurants in Nairobi.
Speaking to Capital FM Business, Feast Limited Director Chris Joseph says the firm has plans to open another four Pizza Hut restaurants in Nairobi before the end of 2016.
“We are constantly looking for great, visible, convenient locations and hope to add another five restaurants in 2017 when we find the right landlord partners. Investments are not just in retail restaurants, but also all the supporting infrastructure to ensure that consumers get the best international-quality products and customer experience,” Joseph said.
The firm is set to officially launch operations in Kenya on Friday.
Pizza Hut operates more than 15,000 restaurants in 97 countries around the world.
The brand recently began its push into sub-Saharan Africa with franchise partners and currently serves customers in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Angola.
Uganda and Tanzania will also launch restaurants in the next few months.
“The next round of countries will include Ghana and Botswana, although most countries where the supply chain and retail network can support international brands will eventually share our famous pan pizzas,” he said.
The move comes as more global brands are expanding their investments in the retail restaurant market; this includes Java Coffee House, KFC and the Japanese brand Teriyaki that opened its doors last year.
So why invest in Kenya?
“In Kenya, global brands are coming because of the prevalence of retail space, hard-working and well-spoken pool of potential team members, and relative transparency and consistency of the currency, legal and operating environments. The market is still very small in Nairobi compared to more developed markets, but the hope is that a University of Nairobi student who shares a Sh400 pizza today with friends becomes a major purchaser for her family in the coming years,” Joseph explained.
The firm’s biggest challenge is to find supply chain partners who can meet the food safety and quality standards of the brand.
“YUM! Brands (which include KFC) have worked extensively with local suppliers such as Kenchic over the last several years to bring food technology innovations to Kenya. Our preference is to localize the entire supply chain, but until we grow larger and local suppliers become willing to make the necessary equipment and human resource investments, you will occasionally see product shortages,” he added.
Kenchic announced it will close its franchise outlets from April 2016, citing the rapidly evolving fast food market in Kenya.
In a statement seen by Capital FM, Kenchic says it will now focus on its core business of chicken processing.