Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands Inc will be introducing the first US chain restaurant in Ethiopia within the next six months. Pizza Hut signed the agreement with Belayab Foods and Franchises on Wednesday April 26, 2017. Although it might change in the long term, initially all ingredients for the pizza chain will be sourced from abroad.
The agreement was signed to bring the franchise to Ethiopia at an estimated investment of 130 million birr expected to be spent with in the coming 18 to 24 months. Three different locations have already been identified for the franchise to be established. The two locations in CMC and Old Airport area will mainly serve as delivery establishments for the residential areas while the Pizza Hut planned to be located around Bole Wello Sefer will be a sit-in restaurant.
Pizza Hut representative stated that, initially, to ensure the safety of the food that is to be served as well as to maintain standards, ingredients will be sourced from abroad.
“Generally when we introduce a new brand into a new geography, unless we have some supply chain already within that country that fulfills the standards, what we will do initially is we will import from outside. However, I think importing anything will have an additional cost and we are also committed to making sure our partners develop and continue to develop. We are also committed to Ethiopia as a country to develop the local capabilities as well,” Ewan Davenport stated underlining that in due time if situations enable them, the company will look at sourcing ingredients locally.
On his part, Aschalew Belay who is the Franchise Partner and major shareholder of Belayab Investment Group, said that the coming of international brands signals big opportunities for investment.
“Ethiopia, has grown significantly in recent years, and it is a major opportunity to bring this world-renowned brand to the Ethiopian consumer, with their unique deep Pan Pizza base, fresh ingredients, and the abundance of pizza toppings, there is no doubt that Pizza Hut will be successful in Ethiopia,” Aschalew said.
The chain expects to provide direct employment for 120 people within the next 2 and half years.