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Kentucky Fried Chicken to expand footprint in Kenya

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Sampling dishes. At least four tonnes of chicken will be needed every week to cater for each of the two planned KFC outlets. Photo/LIZ MUTHONI

Sampling dishes. At least four tonnes of chicken will be needed every week to cater for each of the two planned KFC outlets. Photo/LIZ MUTHONI 

By WANGUI MAINA

Posted  Friday, January 21  2011 at  00:00

Kenyans will soon have an opportunity sample delicacies from Kentucky Fried Chicken, one of the most popular chicken restaurants globally, as the chain looks to expand its footprint in the region.

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Popularly known as KFC, the restaurant chain plans to open two outlets in Nairobi by mid this year — with a third one opening doors to customers by end year to tap into the growing middle class in the country.

KFC is a US-based company with a global footprint.

South African entrepreneur Simon Schaffer has bought the franchise licence to run the business.

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

KFC’s entry in Kenya is a continuation of a long family tradition.

Mr Schaffer’s family has been a KFC franchisee for over 30 years when his father opened the first store in South Africa, and where he spent two years learning everything that he knows about the brand. The family operates 40 restaurants.

It is not as easy as it sounds though. “The franchise rights don’t come cheap and we have the capital backing to set up (the business).”

After working for close to six years as an investment banker at Rand Merchant in South Africa Mr Schaffer, who holds a masters degree in International Finance from the University of Amsterdam, decided to join the family business by opening up his own KFC franchise outside his home country.

Experienced

He flew north to Kenya and together with other investors formed Kuku Foods Limited.

To achieve his dream, he employed Gavin Bell, a franchise consultant and an experienced restaurateur who owns Kengele’s restaurants chain, as the general manager.

Mr Bell will oversee day to day operations of KFC in Kenya.

The capital investment to set up shop remains their secret — thought it runs into millions of shillings.

Mr Schaffer told us that one does not get the rights to run such a franchise without “a healthy balance sheet” to support the roll out.

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