With chicken items back to dining table after a brief hiatus due to the bird flu scare, it is business as usual for KFC, one of the world's largest fast food chains. Yum! Brands, Inc. which owns the KFC brand, planned to invest Rs 200-300 crore in India by 2010, for taking up the number of their stores to 100 from 34 at present, said Unnat Varma, marketing director of KFC India at the launch of a 70-seater outlet in Kolkata’s busy New Market area on Wednesday. About 80 per cent of the new outlets would run on franchisee model, he added. For the next couple of years, KFC would expand its outlets in metro cities, and thereafter it would focus on tier II and III cities, he said.
By the end of 2008, KFC would be operating around 50 stores in the country, he added. KFC, which is growing at around 100 percent on an year-on-year basis for the last two-three years, suffered significantly in terms of sales during the bird flu outbreak, admitted Varma. “During the bird flu scare, KFC's sales dropped by about 15-20 per cent,” said Varma. Globally KFC contributes around $12 billion to Yum! Restaurants, which had a sales of around $30 billion last fiscal. KFC is also focusing on vegetarian food items to increase sales. This year, it will introduce 15-20 new chicken items, most of which will have a vegetarian counterpart. “In the next few years, we will try to introduce as many vegetarian dishes as many chicken items,” Varma said.
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