KFC debuts outside Nairobi with Nakuru outlet

Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food outlet on Kimathi Street in Nairobi. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU

Global fast-food franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is set to open a new outlet in Nakuru on Saturday, marking the company’s first investment outside Nairobi.

The new store, which will be launched by Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua, will bring to a dozen the number of stores that the US-based company has set up in Kenya since its 2011 launch.

The new store will be located at the Westside Mall on Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru. The fast-food chain had planned to open three more branches in Kisumu, Nakuru and Nanyuki before year-end, stating that the expansion would cost it Sh353.5 million ($3.5 million).

“KFC Kenya will be opening their first ever store outside Nairobi. The launch will take place on the December 3 at Westside Mall in Nakuru,” states an invite to the launch.

The Westside Mall is a five-year-old shopping complex housing about 30 stores including Nakumatt Supermarkets, Java House, Bata, City Walk, and Optica.

The Nakuru branch comes after the opening of the Hub Karen outlet earlier this year and is part of Kuku Foods’ — the KFC Kenya franchise holders — aggressive expansion.

More recently, it opened its second drive-through branch on Thika Road in Nairobi. Late last year, the fast-food chain opened its second central business district branch on Mama Ngina Street and another one at the Garden City mall.

The expansion also comes amid increased competition from big players in the fast-food industry such as South African seafood chain Ocean Basket, sandwich chain Subway, ice-cream seller Cold Stone Creamery, Japanese firm Toridoll and Domino’s Pizza that have opened stores in Kenya.

These global players are turning to emerging markets such as Africa for growth, attracted by rising disposable household incomes, fast economic growth and a young population, according a study by McKinsey & Co. 

Nairobi’s position as a regional hub has also attracted the global restaurant chains seeking to tap the emergent fast-food culture that is driven by changing lifestyles and growing appetite for exotic foods.

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