Burger King, an American giant multinational fast food chain restaurant, with a dwindling market share in an ever health conscious and competitive American food market, has teamed up with Belayab Foods Production, owner of Pizza Hut chain restaurants for its operations in Ethiopia.
Aschalew Belay is a major shareholder of the Belayab group, now involved in a variety of business interest, including food, hospitality and in the automotive sector - the Kia brand, among others.
In addition, the group owns a number of brand hotels in the capital, including Golden Tulip and Tulip Inn.
Founded in 1953, Burger King is one of the most visible and successful restaurant brands in the world, next to McDonald's and Subway Sandwiches.
Belay is known as one of the most successful Ethiopian entrepreneurs in China, and he started investing heavily within Ethiopia a decade ago. Last year, he acquired the Bambis Supermarket and is currently refurbishing it. It is set to open later on this year offering brand name products.
There is now unauthorized small Burger King Restaurant, that is operational in the capital near the Leghar area which is expected to bring it to the attention of the owners of the soon-to-be authorized Burger King in the capital.
There has been a wide issue with American and international brands being used in Ethiopia in violation of intellectual property rights and in contrast to World Trade Organization rules and regulation which Ethiopia is in a process of acceding. Noted are the unlicensed Intercontinental Addis, the In & Out burger, Burger King in the Stadium area and ZARA and others.
In related news, The Reporter has confirmed the first Cold Stone Creamery franchise will be inaugurated by Belayab in the Sar Bet area, next week. Owner of some of the most famous premier ice cream brands, Kahala, is planning to open several of these franchises.