KFC arrives in Dakar and Khartoum, with Kigali next on the list

KFC opened outlets in Senegal and Sudan during late 2019, bringing to 22 the number of African countries in which it operates. This figure is set to rise to 23 in the near future, with plans to bring the brand to Rwanda recently unveiled on Instagram. KFC, a subsidiary of US-based Yum! Brands, is by far the largest fast food chain in sub-Saharan Africa.

KFC’s first Senegalese restaurant opened in Dakar during October, with a second added in December. KFC is franchised in Senegal by Groupe Sedima, a local poultry producer. Sedima is led by Anta Babacar Ngom Diack, who is the daughter of the company’s founder, Babacar Ngom.

The fact that the first KFC in Senegal is exclusively staffed by women proved to be somewhat controversial locally (as least on social media), but this does not appear to have hampered sales. “KFC Senegal has sold an average of 1,000 meals per day for the last three weeks,” Cheikh Hamidou Fall, head of marketing at Sedima, told the Washington Post newspaper in November 2019. “It was built to accommodate 800 orders, so wait times have stretched. A guard stands at the door, telling customers to remain patient outside when the dining room is too crammed,” the newspaper added.

Meanwhile, the first KFC in Sudan was opened in Khartoum during early December, with another two following shortly thereafter. KFC is franchised locally by the Sudanese conglomerate Araak Group, which has interests ranging from food processing to property development.

The Sagaci Research View: Having opened more than 5,000 KFC restaurants in China, Yum! Brands is now replicating that success in Africa, albeit on a smaller scale. While McDonald’s operations on the continent are still confined to Morocco, Egypt and South Africa, Yum! Brands has been a pioneer with both KFC and Pizza Hut.

KFC’s African growth has been greatly aided by the fact that chicken is one of the popular segments of the continent’s fast food market. This is evidenced by the success of local chains like Chicken Republic in Nigeria (with more than 60 outlets nationwide), the host of KFC imitators that can be found across the continent (such as Africa Fried Chicken in Dakar and Kafory Fried Chicken in Khartoum), and the fact that there are more KFC outlets in South Africa than in the UK.

 

If you want a detailed assessment of the evolution of the African foodservice market, you need Sagaci Research’s Foodservice in Africa 2020 industry report.

Sagaci Research will shortly be relaunching its KFC Index, using the chain’s signature menu item (buckets of fried chicken) to assess whether local currencies are fairly valued vis-à-vis the US dollar in terms of purchasing power parity. Watch this space!