Pizza Hut is hoping to take a larger slice of the lucrative British fast food market, with a multimillion-pound investment that could create up to 2,000 jobs.
Pizza Hut Delivery – which currently has around 300 shops in England, Wales and Scotland – has said it wants to expand its base to 700 stores. The move is a bid to cash in on the growing market for takeaway in the UK, as cash-strapped Britons opt to eat in rather than splash out on restaurant meals.
The fast food delivery business – owned by the US food giant Yum – aims to open at least 100 new shops by 2014, with the launch of a new scheme, offering up to £65,000 to existing and new franchisees for opening a new store by November next year. Yum is hoping the franchisees will stump up the remaining £15.5m, taking the total planned investment to £20m.
The company said the long-term aim of the “aggressive expansion plan” was to establish a base of 700 delivery shops across the UK. “We are committed to delivering a major investment in growing our UK system, creating significant new opportunities for existing and would-be franchisees,” said Yum’s managing director, Mark Fox. “Our investment will increase our marketing spend, drive the outlet numbers and visibility of Pizza Hut Delivery and create opportunities for franchisees to grow their businesses quickly.”
UK restaurant chains have been hit by consumers cutting back in the recession. But takeaway outlets, such as Domino’s pizza, have enjoyed a boost, as Britons choose to order food in at home instead.
Yum – which also owns the fast food chains Taco Bell and KFC – sold its UK Pizza Hut restaurant arm to the turnaround group Rutland Partners last month.
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