FAST-FOOD giant KFC Thailand says 2018 has proven a great success for the company after transforming itself into a 100-per-cent franchisor, and thus freeing it to create innovative products and services.
KFC expects to by year-end achieve double digit sales growth and to reach a historical record-high of 75 new stores, 39 per cent above the original target of 54 new restaurants,
The brand is now positioned to defend its status as the largest restaurant chain in the country, with a total of 701 outlets nationwide as of this year, said a press release on Monday.
Waewkanee Assoratgoon, general manager, KFC, YUM Restaurants International (Thailand) Co Ltd (YRIT) said, “Yum Thailand has successfully transformed itself into a 100-per cent franchisor in only one year. Our organisation is now in a good shape with an effective structure so that we can expect the most efficiency within the entire business operation.”
As the brand guardian, Yum’s key role is as a brand guard-rail, creating marketing campaigns, providing guidelines, and supporting franchisees and business partners to keep up with the brand’s standards, said Waewkanee.
Yum will also assist franchisors in making a customer complaint recovery plan and to implement a crisis handling protocol.
“Through the collaboration with franchisors, KFC has been able to achieve not only the largest number of restaurants and the unique signature fried chicken, but also the distinctive and beloved brand that we are strengthening,” she said. “Throughout 2018, we have launched a series of exciting campaigns and promotions.”
The year’s branding campaigns included the Valentine’s Day Wing Zabb, National Fried Chicken Day, and the Colonel’s Birthday celebration. The year’s marketing campaigns included Chessy Fried Chicken, Kai Jud Yai spicy friend chicken, the disruptive promotion of Tuesday’s Value of nine pieces of fried chicken for Bt99, and the Zabb on Ice innovative ice-cream promotion that reached more than 48 million Thai people through both online and offline communications and gained massive engagement, said the release.
“As a market leader, we are dedicated to creating new and unique value to enrich customer experience,” said Waewkanee.
YRIT, the operator of the KFC franchise in Thailand, benchmarked its success through an ability to secure the No 1 position and top-of-mind QSR brand as surveyed by the county’s top business magazines, Marketeer and Brandage.
It was also named the most powerful and top engagement brand on social media by Zocial Awards as well as ranking in the top WOM brands mentioned among Thai’s millennials by YouGov2018.
As the largest restaurant chain in Thailand, KFC has served approximately 800,000 pieces of fried chicken daily or 292 million pieces per year.
As a franchisor KFC supports franchisees in their restaurant operations, but also provides them essential know-how to aid business expansion and profitability. Through their collaborative model and support, KFC expect to achieve 701 KFC restaurants in the chain by the end of 2018, 65 of them in the drive-through format.
Of the total, 258 KFC restaurants are being operated by KFC Thailand’s first franchisee, Central Restaurant Group (CRG), which this year opened 22 new restaurants. Another 273 restaurants are being operated by the latest franchise partner, QSR of Asia (QSA), which has invested heavily this year on store renovations at its 47 restaurants. Restaurant Development (RD), the fastest growing franchisee, recently celebrating its second anniversary as KFC’s franchise partner, and RD has experienced rapid growth from 130 restaurants in 2016 to 170 this year.
“With the expansion of urbanisation, it enables us to open more stores, especially using the drive-through model in more distant areas outside Bangkok that serve the needs of people in their community and passers-by like travellers, businessmen, etc,” said Waewkanee.
Expansion is targeted at establishing 1,000 stores by 2020, with at least 100 in the drive-through format.
“Our success does not come only from Yum, but also from our overall corporate franchise partners, which put together capital funds, innovation, and hard work to drive the highest new unit growth in the brand’s history in Thailand,” she said.
The result is that Thailand is now the eighth largest KFC market in the world as well as the fastest growing restaurant brand in Thailand, she said.