US-based fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is set to open four more branches in Nairobi this year.
KFC, which operates locally through franchisee Kuku Foods East Africa, will open the new branches in Lavington, Buru Buru, Village Market and others in Eastlands.
The outlets will follow the opening of a drive-through outlet within a Total petrol station on Lang’ata Road mid this month. It is also set to open the first branch in Rwanda later in the year.
“The investment in new restaurants is a major challenge, mainly due to the prescribed equipment, which is standard world-wide for KFC as well as the quality finishes which we are determined to keep at world class levels. We have set aside a substantial sum of capital for restaurant development in 2018,” said Kuku Foods East Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Derrick Van Houten.
KFC now operates 32 branches in East Africa, 19 of which are located in Kenya.
The branches in Nairobi include two in the central business district, Galleria Mall, Garden City Mall, the Junction Mall and the Hub shopping complex.
The chain also has stores in Nakuru, Nanyuki and Kisumu as well in Uganda and Tanzania.
KFC’s expansion also comes amid increased competition from big players in the fast food industry.
Sandwich chain Subway, ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery, Japanese firm Toridoll and Domino’s Pizza 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 hub for multiple multinationals has also attracted the global restaurant chains.