Country Bird Holdings CEO Marthinus Stander confirmed that the first KFC franchise was opened in Zimbabwe in July 2014. He noted that initial demand and support for KFC had been encouraging, despite the difficult economic conditions still experienced in Zimbabwe.
The KFC Zimbabwe franchise rights were awarded to CBH in 2011, but progress was hampered after stipulations that chicken be sourced from Zimbabwean poultry producers, rather than from SA. CBH also needed to secure local empowerment partners for the venture.
Country Bird Holdings (CBH) has previously reported that it intended to establish 25 KFC stores over the next 5 years.
The per-store capital investment was estimated to be US$713 236, with potential annual revenue of $5,9m/store on an above-average operating margin.
The establishment of a chain of KFC franchises in Zimbabwe would differentiate Country Bird Holdings from other poultry producers on the JSE, perhaps offering the company an opportunity to work with KFC in other African countries.
KFC closed its branches in Zimbabwe, mainly in Harare and Bulawayo, about 5 years ago when the economy was ravaged by chronic hyperinflation. CBH has previously argued that Zimbabwe’s economy has recovered and is able to support a chicken franchise.
The new store has been greeted with long queues.