IT IS said 100 is a milestone and Pizza Hut has a good story to tell after opening their 100th store on the Sub-Saharan Africa.
On a wet and dreary Thursday in Jozi (Ghandi Square), Pizza Hut and their executive team descended at the historical venue to open to the public and pizza aficionados the store to complement or complete what was missing in the precinct: Pizza Hut.
Ghandi Square, the hive of activity within the Johannesburg City Business District, is popular for busses and trading shops that keep the center alive, and it made business sense for Pizza Hut to be in the thick of things.
According to Nikhil Lala, operations director and restaurant franchisor, the decision to open a 100th store within the hustling and bustling City was informed by the activities within the Ghandi Square precinct.
“It’s all about business model that informed the decision to open the store in Ghandi Square. Customers take center stage in every decision we apply, as they’re loyal to our brand; and also taking into cognisance the opportunities that present itself to us, as a business,” he told SLM during interview.
According to Lala, their first store was opened three-years’ ago in Norwood and hopes to add more in Gauteng as the business expands, as a result creating more than 350 job opportunities.
‘One slice at a time’ as he asserted is to afford “our people an international experience as the brands grows”.
Pizza Hut first entered the African market, opening its first restaurant in Johannesburg 2014, with ambitious pan-African expansion plans.
So far, the restaurant now trade in 13 Sub-Saharan African countries, with an additional 90 stores in Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, bringing the total to 190 across the African continent, with over 16,700 restaurants in more than 100 countries, more than any other pizza company worldwide.
“We’re on track with the African growth story we started in September 2014 and we are hugely proud of our progress,” says General Manager: Pizza Hut Africa- Ewan Davenport.
As we expand our footprint in these markets, we continue to add and develop strong local supply chain partners so that we can bring our top quality, affordable pizza to customers in African regions where pizza is not as prevalent as elsewhere in the world.
We believe everyone deserves to experience the power of truly great pizza. Pizza Hut’s accessibility and quality means we are fast becoming Africa’s pizza brand of choice,” she said.
On the social aspect of business Lala and Davenport, concurred they will join Slice of Africa team as it visit restaurants in 14 cities in 12 African countries in 22 days in April in the shape of a great, big pizza slice to mark the launch of Pizza Hut: The African Literacy Project.
They will launch a customer donation campaign to change simple pizza boxes into Red Reading Boxes in Africa as part of Pizza Hut’s global initiative to get children reading.
During the unveiling, a lucky first customer was bought her first pizza courtesy of one executive, as yours truly and other media corps helped themselves on all kinds of pizza on offer.