Ethiopia set to become Burger King’s eighth African market

US-based Restaurant Brands International (RBI) has partnered with Belayab Foods Production to bring its Burger King brand to Ethiopia, website Allafrica.com reports. Burger King restaurants are currently to be found in seven African countries. It entered four of these markets (Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ghana, and Tunisia) during the past five years.

During late 2018, CEO Daniel Schwartz said that RBI was “significantly under-penetrated” in Africa and had a “huge opportunity” to grow. Meanwhile, Belayab is set to open its first Cold Stone Creamery, an ice cream franchise owned by US-based Kahala Brands, in Addis Ababa before the end of this month.

Belayab Foods Production is not a fast food neophyte, having franchised the Pizza Hut brand locally since 2018. It is a subsidiary of Belayab Group, which also has interests in the hospitality (The Tulip Inn and Golden Tulip hotels in Addis Ababa) and automotive (Belayab Motors) sectors. Last year, it acquired a supermarket in Addis Ababa, which is currently being refurbished, suggesting it may also have ambitions in grocery retail. Local businessman Aschalew Belay is the major shareholder in Belayab Group.

The Sagaci Research View: Fast food continues its rapid march across Africa. Having opened six Pizza Hut outlets in Addis Ababa in less than two years, Belayab still sees significant latent demand in the city’s fast food market.

With regard to Stone Cold Creamery, Belayab could do worse than follow the example of Nigerian franchisee Eat N’Go’Africa, which has opened 45 Stone Cold Creamery outlets in that market, finding success by locating many of them adjacent to Domino’s Pizza outlets (another of its franchises).