PIZZA Hut, an American restaurant franchise, launched in Zimbabwe last week with plans to open two more outlets, as it joins the competitive Zimbabwean fast food sector.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
It opened at the Ster Kinekor movie cinema in the leafy suburb of Borrowdale.
Pizza Hut is a brand known for pizza under the global American fast food company Yum! Brands that also operates Taco Bell and KFC worldwide.
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the official launch of Pizza Hut at Sam Levy’s Village on Friday, Yum! Brands regional director for Africa and the Middle East, Andre Strydom said the outlet was the first with immediate plans for two more.
“They (other two outlets) will also be at cinemas, one will be in Harare and one in Bulawayo. I think African countries are right for us and we want to take this great brand to all of them. It is a question of space and sequence and when we have franchisees that are ready in markets that have the supply chain in place, we then move into those markets. It is not just a pizza you buy anywhere off the street, it is a very specific pizza,” he said.
“We have our brand standards and we need to maintain. A pizza in Zimbabwe needs to be exactly the same as in America so it is very similar to the model of the big groups out there like McDonald’s, Burger King and Domino’s, we want make sure that the same quality we are sending to Africa is available in America, South Africa or the United Kingdom.”
Strydom said Pizza Hut’s reception in Zimbabwe will be instructive to their future strategies.
The Pizza Hut franchise was brought in by local firm Siliciade Capital, which also holds the Ster Kinekor cinema franchise in Zimbabwe.
The company first had discussions with the parent company Yum! Brands back in November/December 2016 only to be granted the franchise rights to Pizza Hut in mid 2017.
So far, 11 people are employed by Pizza Hut with others receiving training for the next two outlets.
Pizza Hut becomes the second brand under Yum! Brands to operate in Zimbabwe after KFC, which was brought in by Crispy Chicken Restaurants in 2014.
Siliciade Capital chairman, Elias Hwenga said they had approval to run three Pizza Hut outlets.
“I have got great respect for competition. Pizza Inn has been in the game for a long time, so as Pizza Slice, but what we are offering is a different product. What you have just defined are local products this is an international brand and has got far higher standards proven worldwide that it is a pizza of choice be it for health or really for everything else it is really a big brand,” he said.
In Yum! Brands’ third quarter report for last year, the company reported having of 16 551 restaurants worldwide and earned an operating profit of $82 million. For the period, the company opened 192 new international restaurants in 47 countries, including 144 units in emerging markets.