China's opening-up benefits US catering giant

Updated: Nov 5, 2018 Print
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Yum China opens an experimental outlet called KPRO Hangzhou in September 2017. [Photo/]

Yum! Brands is the parent company of Pizza Hut and KFC, two popular quick service restaurants in the world. In November 2016, Yum China Holdings Inc was spun off from the US fast food company, becoming an independent operator in the Chinese market.

"China's reform and opening-up policy is bringing unprecedented opportunities to us," said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China.

Since the first KFC store was launched in Beijing, capital of China in 1987, Yum has opened nearly 8,200 restaurants in over 1,200 Chinese cities over the past three decades.

As a catering company, food is the most important. Considering the tastes of Chinese people, Yum has been constantly presenting products to cater to Chinese palates, such as rice rolls.

Yum's business expansion in China has created a complete industrial chain, which has spurred the development of domestic companies. By 2017, Yum China had formed a group of more than 700 Chinese suppliers in raw materials, equipment, packing materials and building materials, which contribute to 85 percent of the company's total purchases.

East China's Zhejiang province, home to more than 500 KFC restaurants and 204 Pizza Hut stores, is an important test field for Yum's innovative operations due to its prosperous economy, high consumption capability and advanced technologies, according to Wat.

She explained that the first redesigned Pizza Hut restaurant and the first attempt of facial recognition were piloted in the province and then promoted across the nation.

"Looking into the future, China's urbanization is still going on and there's a large market for catering businesses," said Wat, who is optimistic about the Chinese market.

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