More American Fast Food Is Coming To Africa

Inspired by the success of McDonald's and KFC -- which have outlets throughout southern and eastern Africa -- other American chains are exploring the sub-Saharan market.

What's the Latest Development?

Last week a trade delegation from the International Franchise Association -- a US-based organization whose members include Dairy Queen, Wing Zone, and Hardee's -- met with potential partners in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria in hopes of introducing more sub-Saharan Africans to American fast-food cuisine. They are following in the footsteps of McDonald's and KFC, which have restaurants in several southern and eastern African countries, as well as Burger King, whose recent Cape Town opening drew long lines of customers.

What's the Big Idea?

International Franchise Association delegation leader Scott Lehr says that when it comes to identifying which market is the next big thing, it's largely a no-brainer: "Given the impressive economic growth across Africa and the infrastructure in South Africa, [our members] voted for Africa by a landslide." They will have a number of challenges to overcome, including competition from South African fast-food brands as well as customer education about cuisines that are largely unknown outside of America, such as Tex-Mex. However, Focus Brands executive Scott Chorna is optimistic: "Fifty years ago no one ate pizza, either. And now there’s hundreds of pizza restaurants."

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