KARACHI: American fast food giant Pizza Hut has decided to double its presence in Pakistan, the company and its local partner announced on Friday, adding that they would open 75 new outlets at an approximate investment of $3.4 million.
During a ceremony at the US Consulate in Karachi, a new franchise agreement was signed between Yum! Brands – a Fortune 500 company that owns Pizza Hut – and its local partner MCR. The deal was aimed at expanding Pizza Hut’s presence in Pakistan and adding to its network of 75 outlets over the period of next five years.
While the official press release stated that the agreement commits to an expansion of “150 new Pizza Hut units in Pakistan”, Pizza Hut (Middle East) General Manager Randall Blackford confirmed that the company is targeting a total number of 150 outlets across the country.
“We are currently operating at almost 75 units in Pakistan and we are going to double this number in the next four to five years,” he told The Express Tribune.
“Pizza Hut has a long list of first milestones, which include the first food product to be sold over the internet and the first food product to be delivered to outer space. Therefore, it is natural that we want to reach the milestone of first restaurant chain to have 150 outlets in Pakistan,” he added.
Inaugurated in December 1993, Pizza Hut was the first international franchise to enter Pakistan and also the first one to expand its presence in all four provinces of the country. It currently operates under MCR, a Pakistani company that is part of the services sector for the past 25 years.
“Pakistan is a great market for us and we have made so much progress over the years that we want to double it again,” said Blackford, when asked about the motivation behind expansion. “Additionally, Pizza Hut is a massive revenue-generating brand especially in this part of the world, hence our eagerness to capitalise on the market.”
Meanwhile, MCR President Aqueel Hasan said that the agreement presents a massive opportunity for Pakistan, adding that the country was looking at approximately $3.4 million on average in investment alone from the deal. “The amount of investment varies between the size of the proposed outlets, but the figure is anywhere from $300,000 to $600,000 per unit,” he said. Moreover, the agreement has been slated to generate around 3,500 jobs, excluding the spill-over effects from the expansion.
“This is a huge investment not only in monetary terms, but also it terms of skilled labour force available in the economy,” said Blackford. “Each outlet has a couple of dozen people working, so hiring them and training them – that is a massive investment in time.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2017.