After being attracted to the Ethiopian market for years, Yum! Brands Inc. is set to launch Pizza Hut to the Ethiopian market within the next six months.
This comes three years after Bruce Layzell, Yum’s general manager of new African markets endorsed the idea of entering the Ethiopian market on condition of finding the right partner. “We’re certainly nowhere near pushing the go button, it’s still at that explore stage, to find the right partner, to see if the business model will work,” he said in 2014.
Fast forward to 2017, on Tuesday, the Kentucky-based fast-food chain made its partnership public with the jack-of-all-trades local company, Belayab Enterprises PLC at Golden Tulip Hotel. The pact calls for three restaurants to be operational within the next six months and a further seven to be added within the next three years. The initial locations are to be within Bole, Old Airport and CMC areas.
Yum! has been on the lookout for its expansions outside of its traditional territories of North America, after its repeated efforts to refurbish its products which failed to make expected gains and as many of its patrons are becoming health conscious and are living healthier lifestyles. On the verge of becoming an industrialized nation and with new found spending power to its close to 100 million population, Ethiopia is beginning to attract a slew of international brand-name multinational companies.
“Ethiopia, has grown significantly in recent years, and it is a major opportunity to bring this world-renowned brand to the Ethiopian consumer, with their unique deep Pan Pizza base, fresh ingredients, and the abundance of pizza toppings, there is no doubt that Pizza Hut will be successful in Ethiopia,” Aschalaew Belay, a minority shareholder of the new partnership, said.
Since 2014, the world’s largest pizza chain has opened close to 200 restaurants in a number of African countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa and Nigeria. It sees the African continent as its next frontier and is looking at expanding in the years to come.
“We are honored and excited to bring Pizza Hut to Ethiopia in the near future, and continue to add great partners to our African adventure. There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the Pizza Hut family,” Ewan Davenport, general manager of Pizza Hut Africa, said.
“We continue to strive to be the most-loved and fastest-growing pizza restaurant company in the world and look forward to continuing to share our high-quality, affordable pizzas made by our passionate team members with consumers throughout Africa.”