Listed fast-foods concern, Simbisa Brands says it is here to stay in Zimbabwe and will open drive -thru stores throughout the country cementing its foothold in the competitive business.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
Group finance director Salim Ecoalaza yesterday told NewsDay on the sidelines of the opening of a drive-thru store in Greencroft, Harare, that the company would continue its expansion and will add at least 52 stores per year in all the countries it operates in. The expansion, he said, would be financed from the $14 million set aside for that purpose. Of those funds, $7 million would go towards expansion in Zimbabwe.
“We are here to stay. We are a long-term business. This story [expansion] is the beginning,” Ecoalaza said.
Simbisa has 200 stores in Zimbabwe. Ecoalaza said the fast foods concern would open drive-thru stores in Kwekwe, Gweru and Bulawayo. He said the company has adequate internal resource to fund the expansion project and “if it makes sense to borrow, we will borrow to fund the expansion programme”.
The fast-foods business has seen the entry of big brands such as KFC, Ocean Basket, Mugg & Bean. Ecoalaza said Simbisa has 80% market share of the branded restaurant business.
Simbisa becomes the second fast food concern to introduce drive-thru stores after KFC. Ecoalaza said the drive-thru concept is part of the fast foods revolution “and not new to us”.
The Greencroft drive-thru store was officially opened by Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha. He said government would support investors such as Simbisa through rebate of duty on imported capital equipment.
Simbisa was demerged from Innscor Africa Limited last year and listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in November.