Spread­ing wings be­yond Moscow

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES/ANALYSIS -

GLOBAL pizza brands Domino’s and Papa John’s are pre­par­ing an as­sault on Rus­sia’s prov­inces, bet­ting they can turn a profit far from Moscow as on­line card pay­ments be­come more wide­spread and con­sumers get to know for­eign brands bet­ter. While stayat-home Mus­covites can order an ar­ray of in­ter­na­tional pizza brands from Sbarro to Domino’s to Papa John’s, re­gional cities such as Ros­tov-on-Don and Nizhny Nov­gorod are still chiefly the pre­serve of small lo­cal chains. Mul­ti­ple chal­lenges have kept global fast food brands wed­ded to ma­jor Rus­sian cities, in­clud­ing patchy trans­port links, bu­reau­cratic de­lays, find­ing an army of chefs who can main­tain qual­ity, as well as the sheer cost of ship­ping of­ten per­ish­able in­gre­di­ents across a vast coun­try that spans 11 time zones. West­ern fast food chains have also had to adapt menus to suit Rus­sian palates bet­ter, once the al­lure of new for­eign tastes has worn off. One of Domino’s best-sell­ing piz­zas is the “Rus­sian” with 13 top­pings in­clud­ing potato, beef, pork, ba­con, mush­rooms, pep­per­oni and cheese to help ward off the cold. But Domino’s Pizza’s Rus­sian fran­chisee, DP Eura­sia, be­lieves the time is now right to ex­pand be­yond Moscow, where sales at the 76 out­lets it had at the end of March are far out­strip­ping growth in its main mar­ket Tur­key. “The com­pany has done its own re­search and re­alised that there’s al­most no qual­ity pizza in the re­gions, which gives us enor­mous ground for de­vel­op­ment,” said DP Eura­sia’s head of Rus­sian de­vel­op­ment Elena Ivanova. – Reuters

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