updated - July 9, 2020 Thursday EDT
Pizza Hut's pilot store opened in Majidi Mall in Erbil, Iraq, the capital region of Kurdistan.
It is a 120-seat restaurant, run by the franchise operator Al Kout Food Company. The is just the first of five stores to be opened in Erbil in 2014. Al Kout also targets to put up in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, known to be the second biggest in Kurdistan.
"We are excited to let Iraqis get a taste of Pizza Hut as part of the global expansion plan of our name. "Because Pizza Hut has massive following compared to our direct competitors, we are still at the start of our growth plan," according to the chief executive officer of Pizza Hut, Scott Bergen.
The Louisville-based Yum, the mother company said that its franchise partners are planning to invest in a multi-billion expansion of more than 20,000 stores in locations such as Africa, Russia and Iraq in the year 2020.
According to Yum's latest fiscal year, a portion of 1,055 new stores that opened in 78 international locations, not including in United States, India and China are part of the said expansion. That emerging markets have brought seven percent growth in its full year of operation. Figures generated show that the brand has been exceptionally performing all over the world and is geared to the right direction of the development plan.
The Al Kout Food Company is an Iraq-based company and a subsidiary of Kout Food Group which is based in Kuwait. It is responsible for franchising Pizza Hut's sister brand KFC, Taco Bell, Applebees and Burger King in Kuwait.
A Texas-based Pizza Hut has approximately 15,000 stores all over the world, with 6,200 store sin United States and 1,100 units in China.
The Yum company has franchises over 40,000 stores in over 125 countries.
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