KFC spreading its wings and more throughout China
By Ted Anthony
The Associated Press
BEIJING - The late Colonel Harland Sanders, whose bearded, down-home visage adorns chicken restaurants from Kentucky to Karachi, is headed for a new frontier: the mountains of Tibet. There's more: The Mexican-style fast food of the Taco Bell chain will expand across China in the near future. Pizza Hut will step up its home deliveries. And KFC's already imposing presence in the world's most populous country will continue "rapid expansion" as it devises new ways to localize. The chiefs of Louisville-based Yum! Restaurants' China operation offered an optimistic expansion blueprint Thursday ahead of a meeting of regional managers marking the opening of KFC's 1,000th outlet in China. Gearing KFC toward local stomachs while retaining its identity as a prestige foreign brand is a delicate balance. Yum!'s China operation offers such fare as an "Old Beijing Twister" - a wrap modeled after the way Peking duck is served, but with fried chicken inside. "In our business, it's very simple. You have to respond to consumers' demands. As they become more sophisticated, we need to become more sophisticated," said J. Samuel Su, greater China president for Yum! Restaurants. "We think we're in a very good spot," Su said. "Our intention is to continue with rapid expansion. We see no reason why we should slow down." The global sales of Yum! Brands, formerly Tricon Global Restaurants, totaled more than $24 billion in 2002, the most recent figure available. China is increasingly embracing the outside world and its snacks, enabling fast-food companies to expand. McDonald's Corp. operates more than 560 restaurants in China, and the state-controlled China Daily said Thursday that it planned almost 100 more this year. It quoted Tim Lai, north China managing director of McDonald's China Development Co. "McDonald's is going head-to-head with KFC," China Daily said. Yum!'s KFC and Pizza Hut have...
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