Burger King to open its doors to Kenyans

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International restaurant chain, Burger King, is set to open its first outlet in Kenya which will be located at Kenya’s largest mall, The Hub, in Karen.

The restaurant chain owned by Restaurant Brand Inc. was founded in 1954 and is the second largest restaurant chain in the world and the leading worldwide in hamburger production.

Burger King operates more than 15,000 outlets in over 100 countries in the world.

Kenya’s outlet will be the fifth in Africa after Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and the latest to open, Ivory Coast, in line with the Brand’s international growth strategy.

The makers of the whopper burger, their signature product, will be joining the growing list of global fast food chains in the country such as Yum!’s Pizza Hut and the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Subway sandwich and Domino’s pizza, tapping into the fast growing appetite for fast food in the country’s middle class.

McDonalds, the world’s leading fast food chain, has also made known their plans to invest in the country.

The Burger King outlet will be independently owned, operating under a franchise agreement with word suggesting that Nas Servair are likely to be the license holders.

Nas Servair is the third-largest airline catering and logistics business globally and currently manages Ivory Coast’s Burger King outlet through Abidjan Servair.

“Servair is an excellent and experienced restaurateur and will further strengthen the Burger King system” Bruno Lino Burger King’s president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Nas Servair has production complexes in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Entry of the big players such as Burger King not only places Kenya and Africa on the maps as a hot bed for investment but also provides employment for Kenyans consequently contributing to economic growth.

Major global restaurant chains and retailers have realized the potential in emerging markets such as Africa, aggressively investing in strategies to expand their reach particularly in Sub Saharan Africa.

This has been fueled by the growing population in the continent and more so growth of middle-income consumers and the expatriate community.

Nairobi is one of the largest and fastest growing markets in Sub-Saharan Africa hence the particular interest to invest in it by majority of the global companies.

Other than the growth of middle-income consumers fueled by increase in disposable income, Kenyans tend to relate international brands with quality hence the great success of the brands in the recent past.

With Carrefour, world’s largest retail store, opening its first store in Africa in Kenya, Volkswagen setting up an assembling plant and now Burger King, Kenya’s future looks very promising.

However, even with all the potential that Kenya promises and the hungry and eager investors, the country is not an easy place to conduct business with brands such as Naked pizza having closed shop earlier this year.

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Lilian Mutinda
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