LOUISVILLE, KY, April 9, 2014 – Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced the opening of the first Pizza Hut in Iraq with franchise partner, Al Kout Food Company. The introduction of the first Pizza Hut in Iraq reflects the reach of the world’s largest pizza chain and the Company’s expansion in emerging markets.
“We’re pleased to be able to bring Pizza Hut to Iraq as part of the explosive growth for our brand around the world,” said Scott Bergren, CEO, Pizza Hut and Chief Innovation Officer, Yum! Brands. “While Pizza Hut’s footprint is already significantly larger than our nearest competitor, we’ve still just scratched the surface of global growth. We are taking the powerful Pizza Hut Red Roof icon and accelerating the development of our brand across the Delivery, Express, and Dine-In channels around the world as only we can.” Yum! Brands’ Pizza Hut division has more than 13,000 restaurants in 85 countries, excluding the Yum! China and India divisions. Overall, the Company has nearly 15,000 Pizza Hut units worldwide, making it the world’s largest and most successful pizza brand.
The new restaurant is located in the Kurdistan Region of Northern Iraq in the popular Majidi Mall in Erbil. The restaurant features a full casual dine-in experience for Iraqi consumers with a vibrant, youthful design and seating for 120 people. The menu is in Kurdish and offers a range of appetizers, pizzas and flatbreads, pasta, salads, desserts and drinks.
“Kout Food Group is proud of its partnership with Yum! and the success of launching the first Pizza Hut Dine-In store in Iraq,” said Mrs. Fadwa Al-Homaizi, Managing Director, Al Kout Food Company and Co-founder and Chairwoman, Kout Food Group. “Our utmost priority is to serve our customers with excellent products and services. This is in line with our strategy of expansion in Iraq. More and more customers are visiting the restaurant to test the high-quality Pizza Hut products and to enjoy the dine-in experience.” Iraq-based Al Kout Food Company is owned by Kout Food Group which is located in Kuwait.
Al Kout Food Company plans to open four more Pizza Hut restaurants in Iraq this year including three in Erbil and one in Sulaymaniyah. The franchisee expects that the five restaurants, including the new Pizza Hut, will create more than 150 jobs in the region by the end of the year. Erbil is the capital of the Kurdistan Region and third largest city in Iraq with more than one million people. Sulaymaniyah is the second largest city in the region.
Yum! Brands is the worldwide leader in emerging markets with more than 14,000 restaurants and a nearly two-to-one advantage over the nearest competition. With only two restaurants per million people in the top 10 emerging markets, compared to 58 restaurants per million in the U.S., Yum! believes it is on the ground floor of global growth. The Company and its franchise partners plan to invest $10 Billion and have more than 20,000 restaurants in emerging markets by 2020.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 40,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #201 on the Fortune 500 List with revenues of over $13 billion and in 2013 was named among the top 100 Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The Company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened over five new restaurants per day, making it a leader in international retail development.