Popeyes chicken lands in S. Africa

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - THEMBISILE DZONZI

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the lat­est in a flurry of well-known U.S. fast-food chains to test the South African mar­ket, will adopt a cau­tious ap­proach to ex­pan­sion as the com­pany takes time to lure cus­tomers from more es­tab­lished brands such as KFC and Chicken Licken.

The seller of fried chicken will open the first of three South African out­lets in the Jo­han­nes­burg fi­nan­cial district of Sand­ton on Thurs­day. Siyaghopa Trad­ing Group, a closely held in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle that was awarded the Popeyes li­cense by Cana­dian par­ent Restau­rant Brands In­ter­na­tional Inc., is buy­ing land to sup­port a fu­ture roll­out at a yet-to-be de­ter­mined date, said Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Jaye Sin­clair.

The open­ing comes af­ter Africa’s most in­dus­tri­al­ized economy slid into re­ces­sion in the first quar­ter, while brands such as KFC have long dom­i­nated a fast-food mar­ket with an above-av­er­age share de­voted to chicken. Com­pet­ing with the Yum! Brands Inc. chain will be a “long process,” Sin­clair said, although he’s con­fi­dent that word will spread quickly once South Africans taste the Popeyes menu items. The com­pany is seek­ing to repli­cate the early pop­u­lar­ity of Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pizza Hut and Star­bucks, all of which have opened South African out­lets since 2013.

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