Pizza Hut - an American restaurant chain - becomes the first major international food franchise to open in Ethiopia. U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor, Yum! Brands representatives, government officials, and special guests celebrate the opening of Pizza Hut today, at the restaurant's new CMC location.
In addition to today's grand-opening in CMC, Belayab Foods & Production PLC - the franchisee of Pizza Hut in Ethiopia - is slated to open its second location in the popular Bole Medhanialem neighborhood on Saturday, April 14th.
"We're very excited for this milestone event," said Belayab Foods CEO and shareholder, Michael Ghebru. "While there are a few regional franchise restaurants in Ethiopia, Pizza Hut is the first global international restaurant franchise to enter the Ethiopian market."
In the United States, restaurant franchises employ 3.8 million individuals of whom 85% are under the age of 25 years. Belayab Foods aims to follow this trend by focusing on hiring youth straight out of school. In preparation for the Ethiopian opening, the company sent several of their young employees to various trainings abroad to become familiar with the Pizza Hut brand.
The restaurants feature a contemporary feel with modern furniture and fixtures, as well as imported branding materials. Additionally, the restaurants include Pizza Hut's most popular pizzas, meals, and desserts - which are all imported in an effort to keep the original taste and standard.
Pizza Hut's parent company, Yum! Brands, (also owner of KFC and Taco Bell restaurant chains), is investing heavily in Africa and working with franchises to expand its presence across the continent. With more than one billion people, 53 countries and consumer spending predicted to reach $2.5 trillion by 2020, the company sees an opportunity for growth in Africa.
Earlier this week on Monday, Pizza Hut introduced its "Slice of Africa" literacy campaign at its CMC location. By simply changing its pizza boxes into "Red Reading Boxes," Pizza Hut is drawing attention for the need to increase literacy across the continent. Children and their parents attended the event, received their boxes with books, and enjoyed free pizza. The project takes Pizza Hut Africa General Manager, Ewan Davenport, and his team across Africa on a route map that follows the shape of a huge pizza slice, marking the region's contribution to the company's global initiative, "Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project."
Established in 2016, the global campaign has impacted 15.9 million people and distributed more than 275,000 books and educational resources to communities in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica and South Africa, in its first year alone.