KFC to open 20 restaurants in Nigeria during 2011

US-based restaurant group Yum! Brands is planning to open 20 KFC outlets in Nigeria during 2011.

“We’ve got six stores there now and we are going to build 20 next year,” said Keith Warren, Yum!’s general manger for Africa, during the company’s recent investor and analyst conference.

Yum! forecasts that it will have 300 KFC restaurants in Nigeria by 2020.

The first Nigerian KFC restaurant opened in December last year. “We always knew a 150 million people . . . eating chicken on the bone as their primary protein, had to be a good thing for KFC, but we didn’t quite know how good a thing it was going to be,” said Warren.

Warren explained that the biggest challenges of operating in Nigeria is dealing with the poor infrastructure and bureaucracy as well as finding the right partners.

KFC in Nigeria is currently a joint-venture between an existing Indian franchisee of the company and a local Nigerian.

In his presentation Warren outlined Yum!’s African growth plans. The company plans to operate 2,100 stores in Africa by 2020 – 1,100 in South Africa and 1,000 in the rest of the continent.

“KFC is desperately desired in [Africa], Nigeria is just one of many [countries],” Warren added.