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Kentucky Fried Chicken opens in Nairobi on Friday

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KFC, the world’s largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain with over 12,300  outlets in more than 80 countries, is opening shop in Nairobi today./file

KFC, the world’s largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain with over 12,300 outlets in more than 80 countries, is opening shop in Nairobi today./file 

By IMMACULATE KARAMBU AND WANGUI MAINA

Posted  Friday, August 12  2011 at  00:00

Global food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, one of the world’s most popular chicken restaurants, is set to open shop Friday in Nairobi.

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Popularly known as KFC, the restaurant chain plans to open three outlets in the city this year starting with new chicken shop at the Junction Shopping Mall as it races to expand its footprint in emerging markets.

It will open two more outlets in Galleria Mall and on Kimathi Street to tap Kenya’s growing middle class, it said in a notice.

KFC is a US-based company with a global footprint and is run by South African entrepreneur Simon Schaffer through a franchise.

The world’s largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain has over 12,300 outlets in more than 80 countries.

“There is an appetite for a brand like this in Kenya where a fast food culture is already growing,” said Mr Schaffer in an earlier interview with Business Daily in Nairobi.

The brand’s entry is expected to raise the bar on the fast food business and give players such as Galito’s, Chicken Inn, and Steers a run for their money. KFC is counting on pricing and its international brand to gain market share.

The firm targets Kenya’s middle class by setting shop in malls which are attracting international retailers and well-known brands.

Founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, who has remained a key feature in the company’s advertising, KFC is a fast food restaurant that mainly sells chicken and is looking to roll out a massive Africa-wide expansion, using South Africa as a base.

There are about 650 KFC outlets on the continent, most of which are in South Africa where the first restaurant was opened in 1971.

The firm is seeking a presence in East Africa, Angola, Zambia, Ghana, and Nigeria this year.

It is planning to open 20 outlets in Nigeria, and plans to grow the branches to 300 in that country by 2020, with over 100 units expected to open in East Africa in the same period.
The first Nigerian KFC restaurant opened in December, 2009.

Africa’s fast economic growth has led to the region increasingly being viewed as the new consumer market frontier, with international retailers moving in to tap into emerging opportunities.

Wall-mart is keen to get a foothold on the continent after its acquired a majority stake in South Africa’s retailer Massmart.

KFC has trained at least 10 Kenyans in South Africa on the KFC brand, and they will gain exposure on how the restaurants are operated and understand the international procedures expected. The training takes three months.

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