Pizza Hut eyes Ethiopia as African presence grows

Pizza Hut is set to open three outlets in Ethiopia this year, becoming one of the first international restaurant chains to enter Africa’s second-most populous country.

Pizza Hut eyes Ethiopia as African presence grows

The restaurants are scheduled to begin serving in the capital, Addis Ababa, by November, franchisee Aschalew Belay said.

Mr Aschalew’s company, Belayab Foods and Franchise, will run the local outlets of the Yum! Brands-owned pizzeria and will have invested $5.5m (€5.04m) in the operations by next year, according to his partner, Michael Ghebru.

The agreement allows for as many as 10 outlets, he said. Ethiopia is an attractive destination because of its cheap labour and electricity, said Mr Ghebru, who will run the franchise and initially hold a 15% stake.

There are “no major” food franchises in Addis Ababa, making competition “non-existent,” he said.

Ethiopian openings are part of a wider expansion under which Pizza Hut plans to boost its number of sub-Saharan Africa outlets to 100 by the end of 2017 from about 70, according to the company’s incoming general manager for Africa, Ewan Davenport.

About half of Pizza Hut’s business on the continent is in South Africa, where it opened in 2015, with outlets in Angola and at Camp Lemonnier, a US military base in Djibouti, the top performers elsewhere.

Ghana, which has three Pizza Huts, is “absolutely firing,” with the partner looking to expand to neighboring countries such as Togo, Mr Davenport said. Ethiopia’s economy is forecast to grow 7.5% this year.


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