KFC to create 9 000 new jobs

Chicken restaurant chain KFC will create up to 9 000 new jobs in South Africa over the next three to five years, it said on Thursday.

The job creation would come about as part of a R1,5-billion investment by the KFC brand that would see between 200 and 300 new outlets opening, KFC Africa said in a statement.

“There aren’t many companies who can be so positive in this challenging environment, so we are delighted to be able to announce this significant investment in South Africa,” said managing director Keith Warren.

He said the brand would also spend in excess of R1-billion to refurbish current outlets “with a contemporary new look in order to enhance the customer experience”.

Warren said the development was “not just a credit crunch phenomenon for KFC”, adding that the brand had been growing steadily for years.

“A truly successful business should provide customers with what they want when the economy is booming, as well as when times are tougher,” he said.

The creation of the 9 000 jobs would have a particular focus on increasing accessibility to all South African consumers.

“The new jobs will provide a range of opportunities for all ages and abilities from cooks to managers,” Warren said.

Every employee could expect to take advantage of extensive training and development programmes, he added.

“KFC prides itself on providing the opportunity for team members to work their way up to manager and beyond.”

Despite the economic downturn, KFC continued to see strong sales.

“Results for 2008 have shown a strong growth versus the year before and results for 2009 are already showing strong double digit growth,” Warren said.

With 570 stores all owned and operated by local franchisees, and more than 19 000 employees already in South Africa, the announcement highlighted KFC’s continued growth when competitors were announcing plans to withdraw capital from the country, Warren said.—Sapa

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