Fast food franchise KFC has temporarily shut down its outlets in Zimbabwe citing foreign currency challenges and supply problems.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
“KFC Africa has taken the decision to temporarily close our restaurants in Zimbabwe as we are unable to continue to trade due to the current pressure on the country’s economy. The currency challenges have affected our operations and supply, and we are exploring various ways to reopen our restaurants soon,” KFC Africa public affairs director Thabisa Mkhwanazi said in a statement yesterday.
“KFC is a loved and trusted brand in Zimbabwe and we generate new employment opportunities as we grow and with every new restaurant opening. Our supply chain is heavily dependent on local suppliers, and we are passionate about ensuring that these and all other partnerships are sustainable.”
KFC reopened in Zimbabwe in 2014 after a nearly seven-year absence, when businessperson Kevin James, owner of Consolidated Farming Investments, bought the franchise for the local market.
Zimbabwe’s currency crisis was sparked when the central bank ordered that banks separate US dollar inflows by reopening foreign currency accounts to distinguish them from local accounts funded through electronic transfers.
The Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) value, along with the surrogate bond note currency, promptly collapsed on the black market despite the government insisting that they trade at par with the US dollar.
As of yesterday, the RTGS transfers were trading at a premium of 400% to the US dollar.
KFC is one of the three major brands under American fast food giant Yum! Brands Inc., together with Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut is the only other major brand under Yum! Brands Inc. operating in the Zimbabwean market, having opened shop in February this year.