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Pizza Hut (US) Pakistan to Expand its Presence in Pakistan

12 Dec 2017 - Pizza Hut Pakistan, a global fast-food chain, has decided to go beyond major cities of Pakistan by expanding its branches to new cities. It is planning to double its number of restaurants in next five years without compromising on its quality and services.

An American pizza outlet that started with just one restaurant 25 years ago has now over 80 branches in the country. The new expansion plan will engage individual investors by offering them an opportunity to become a part of the Pizza Hut Pakistan as a sub-franchise.

"Going through a phenomenal expansion spurt and the largest restaurant chain in Pakistan, Pizza Hut Pakistan is offering an opportunity to investors all over the country to start their own chain of Pizza Hut restaurants as a sub-franchise," said Hameed Kashan, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Pizza Hut Pakistan, while talking to Business Recorder here on Friday. He further said that while they had to learn from their mistakes and create new systems from the scratch, their sub-franchisees will have access to turnkey solutions from day one.

"We will set up the entire restaurant, install equipment, train the staff, provide world leading technology and systems, and allow the restaurant owner to focus on operating it with peak efficiency. We have a comprehensive eight weeks on-boarding and business coaching programme that ensures that our sub-franchisees have the same level of success that we do. We like to say that as a Pizza Hut franchisee you are in the business for yourself but never by yourself," he added.

According to him, owning and operating a restaurant is a hands-on and demanding venture. They are looking for people who are seeking a long-term investment proposition, have the drive to run a thriving business and are willing to provide day-to-day operational supervision of their restaurant.

Contrary to most people's assumption, Pizza Hut does not require previous restaurant industry experience, but it will be beneficial. For everything else, they (Pizza Hut) have highly established and nuanced training systems that will educate a prospective sub-franchisee about all they need to know about running their own successful restaurant.

When asked what it takes for an investor to run a sub-franchise, he said, "A passion for food is almost essential and daily supervision is the key to its success. We have observed that a restaurant is most successful when the owner is directly involved in the business. Our great systems and support takes away most of the burden, but running a restaurant is not a passive investment, it demands active involvement."

While comparing the standing of Pizza Hut in Pakistan with other regional countries, he boasted that they are one of the fastest growing Pizza Hut markets in the region and they are working very hard to maintain that position. "In terms of our menu, we are one of the most diverse due to our highly defined culinary culture. We create products and tastes that resonate well with our customers regardless of where they live in the country and what price point they want a meal at," he added.

The Pizza Hut has just celebrated 25 years in Pakistan and Kashan feels that over these years consumer habits have changed in the country. Modern consumers set a high bar for us to achieve and we have to deliver day in day out with every single meal, he added. Talking about the challenges that Pizza Hut faced in Pakistan, he said it is known globally for its amazing pizzas, but the Pakistanis have a very specific flavor profile.

"We like our food to be spicier and bolder than the rest of the world. This required incredible amount of research to understand what flavours Pakistanis across the country like and how do they work with our world class cheese, tomato sauce and pizza base. The result was one of the most aggressive innovation cycles at any Pizza Hut market globally that gave birth to a variety of highly localized flavors. Kashan did not feel threatened by the rise of local fast food chains in Pakistan. He said growth of the food sector as a whole is a good marker for the entire industry and the country's economy.

Business Recorder