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Pizza Hut the first American restaurant chain, opened in Addis Ababa on the road to CMC on Tuesday and Bole Medhanealem near Edna Mall Saturday.
Yum Brands partnered with local Belayab Foods to open the first Pizza Hut restaurant at a building owned by national Oil Company around CMC area on Tuesday. The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor and other government officials and businesspeople.
“We’re very excited about this milestone event,” said Belayab Foods CEO and shareholder Michael Ghebru. “While there are a few regional franchise restaurants in Ethiopia, Pizza Hut is the first global international restaurant franchise to enter the Ethiopian market.”
Pizza Hut says their restaurants feature a contemporary feel with modern furniture and fixtures, as well as imported branding materials. “Additionally, the restaurants include Pizza Hut’s most popular pizzas, meals, and desserts – which are all imported in an effort to keep the original taste and standard,” the statement added.
Depending on what kind of toppings and sides you order eating at Pizza Hut will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 to 400 birr.
In the United States, restaurant franchises employ 3.8 million individuals of whom 85% are under the age of 25 years. According to the company’s statement, Belayab Foods aims to follow this trend by focusing on hiring youth straight out of school. In preparation for the Ethiopian opening, the company sent several of their young employees to trainings abroad to become familiar with the Pizza Hut brand.
The US restaurant chain formed in 1958 concentrated in traditional big markets, but recently it has been aggressively expanding its market in Africa.
The Ethiopian partner is expects to expand to 10 branches in the city. Some in the tourism industry feel more chain type restaurants or more variety in the type of cuisine featured at eateries would attract more tourists to Ethiopia. Because Addis Ababa is a major diplomatic center, hopes were that it would attract more international brands in the hospitality and food industry, so far however this has been slow to occur.
In the past decade the number of standard hotels and international chains has been growing, while the international restaurant business remains limited. Recently the South African restaurant chain, Spur Steak Ranches, has commenced its business around Bole, one of the luxury locations in the capital.
Pizza Hut’s parent company, Yum! Brands, also owns KFC and Taco Bell restaurant chains. It is investing heavily in Africa and working with franchises to expand its presence across the continent. With more than one billion people, 53 countries and consumer spending predicted to reach USD 2.5 trillion by 2020, the company sees an opportunity for growth in Africa.
In the near future it plans to open a KFC with another local partner in Addis Ababa.