American food chain Papa John’s Pizza to launch operations in Kenya

muloozi Daniel
muloozi Daniel

The third-largest pizza delivery restaurant in the world Papa John’s International Inc’s is set to open 13 fast food outlets in Kenya.

The American Louisville, Kentucky – based pizza chain said it will open the outlets in a partnership deal with Kitchen Express, a subsidiary of AAH Limited, the majority shareholder of Hass Petroleum Group, which operates 140 petrol stations in ten African countries.

Under the deal, Papa John’s which runs 5,500 restaurants in 50 countries, will open outlets at Hass’s properties in Kenya and Uganda starting with Nairobi.

“Establishing ourselves in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time presents a great opportunity for Papa Johns to deliver on our…promise and continue our global momentum as a brand,” said Amanda Clark, Papa Johns chief development officer in a statement.

For Hass, the deal will help it to grow its non-fuel business. Oil marketers are increasingly seeking to attract small consumer-focused businesses to their properties, a model that is meant to bring them rental income besides boosting fuel sales.

In 2019, another Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades under the Shell brand name, said it would take a 50 percent stake in KFC in East Africa, in a deal with the owners of the fast-food franchise Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings.

By setting up in Kenya, Papa John’s which has seen rapid growth in international markets in recent years will be taking on rival international brands that have already opened in Kenya like US-based fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s and Burger King.

Sandwich chain Subway, ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery, Japanese firm Toridoll and Domino’s Pizza have recently opened more stores in Kenya.

These global players are turning to emerging markets such as Africa for growth, attracted by rising disposable household incomes, fast economic growth and a young population, according to a study by McKinsey & Co.

Nairobi’s position as a hub for multiple multinationals has also attracted global restaurant chains.

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