American Chains Forge New Ground Overseas
- Burger King, which returned to France in 2012 after 15 years, opened its third location in Paris last week, and it’s a big one—boasting two kitchens in its 13,000-sq.-ft. footprint. The chain’s new flagship store in France has more than 250 seats and offers customers six digital ordering kiosks. The average size of a BK unit in the U.S. is about 1,900-4,300 sq. ft. and seats 40-120 customers.
- Panda Express has put down roots in Dubai, where the 1,700-unit Chinese quick-serve chain has opened two branches in the past two months. The family-owned company teamed with Gourmet Gulf, which has launched brands, including Yo! Sushi, California Pizza Kitchen, Azkadenya and Hummingbird Bakery, in the region. The company hopes to roll out 100 stores across the Gulf region by 2020.
- Pizza Hut has more than 15,000 restaurants in 93 countries, but it just opened its first restaurant in Africa. The new modern-look Pizza Hut in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the first of what the chain expects to be dozens of stores in the country and will serve as an entry point into Angola, Namibia and Zambia over the next year. KFC, like Pizza Hut, is part of Yum! Brands and has more than 735 stores in South Africa and more than 250 restaurants in 16 other countries across Africa.
- KFC returned to Zimbabwe in July, seven years after it pulled out amid hyperinflation and an economic meltdown in the country. The Yum! Brands chain quietly opened the store at an upmarket shopping center in the northern part of the capital, Harare. It’s reported that the franchisee, KFC Zimbabwe, plans to open 25 more outlets. KFC will compete with local chains, including Innscor’s Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn and the South African QSR chain, Nando’s.