Yoma Strategic Holdings, the franchise partner of US-based Yum! Brands Inc’s KFC brand, says it will take “protective” action against KFC restaurants already existing in Myanmar, but did not specify what these moves would entail.
It said it was “aware of … unofficial KFC restaurants” in the country, but did not know their “exact numbers and locations”.
“We will work with Yum! Brands accordingly to introduce, develop and support the growth of the KFC brand in Myanmar which includes any protective actions as necessary,” said JR Ching, Yoma’s head of business development.
When asked what these protective actions would be, he responded: “We are unable to comment on specific protective actions at this stage.”
Ching said genuine KFC restaurants would be opened in Yangon next year and might expand to other major cities in the years to come.
“The development plans call for initial market entry in Yangon and expansion to other cities within the country is always a possibility. We are in the process of finalising the exact details of this market launch and will be able to provide more information at a later stage,” he explained.
Myanmar is relatively unsaturated in the restaurant industry, when compared to other markets, he said.
“We believe that there are sufficient opportunities for us to provide even greater variety of nutritious food options to Myanmar consumers. We will work closely with KFC and its research and development team to develop products to suit Myanmar taste and ensure that the offerings are locally relevant and appealing,” he said.
The Yoma spokesperson said that food safety would be top priority for the restaurants. He said KFC would also raise food safety standards in the country.
He added that the firm would find good suppliers and work with them to raise industry standards. All of KFC’s suppliers will go through a rigorous approval process and continuous quality control and assurance process including adhering to global food safety standards.
“We will always strive to source from local suppliers where possible,” Ching said.
KFC is among the first handful of quick service restaurants that have or are planning to enter the Myanmar market. It is also the cornerstone of Yoma’s strategy to capture the rapid increase in the nation’s consumer spending.
Myanmar offers significant macro potential for an international quick service franchise with a growing consumer class that is forecast to grow from 2.5 million today to 19 million in 2030, potentially tripling consumer spending by more than threefold.
Ching said that the firm would continue to look for new opportunities while focusing its current businesses in this sector.
Source: The Nation
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