Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), today announced the opening of its first restaurant in Nigeria with two more expected by the end of the year. Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, a reference to its large population and bustling economy. With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. “We are thrilled to bring Pizza Hut to Nigeria as we continue our African expansion. Our 14th country launch in sub-Saharan Africa in the past 4 years, we are fast becoming Africa’s Pizza of Choice,” said Ewan Davenport, General Manager Pizza Hut Africa.
The first restaurant will open in Ikoyi, Lagos, with others in Lekki and Ikeja Mall to follow, also in Lagos.
Since opening in September 2014, Pizza Hut has been a hugely successful African growth story and recently opened its 100th restaurant in Sub-Saharan Africa. Pizza Hut expects to be in 14 Sub-Saharan African countries by the end of 2018, with an additional 30 restaurants in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, that’s over 230 restaurants across the African continent.
The introduction of Pizza Hut into Nigeria truly reflects the Company’s expansion in emerging markets. Pizza Hut is the world’s largest pizza chain with more than approximately 17,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries worldwide. “We are also privileged to work with an exceptional partner, with experience running Pizza Hut’s throughout the African continent,” says Davenport. Pizza Hut and Marathon Restaurants Africa have ambitious shared development plans to grow the brand to considerable scale over the next few years, leading to significant job creation and development of local supplier partnerships.
Marathon Restaurants CEO, Tony Ozanne says, “We are extremely excited and optimistic for our launch into Nigeria and have made a multi-million-dollar investment to make a significant Pizza Hut footprint into Nigeria. This expansion will also add local employment for more than 100 Nigerians in our first three locations, with more to come in future years.”
“Pizza fans living in Nigeria have been waiting with great anticipation for Pizza Hut to open in in their local neighbourhoods. It’s been an incredibly exciting journey as we bring the biggest pizza brand in the world to as many African customers as possible. The unique deep pan base, San Francisco Thin crust, fresh ingredients, abundance of pizza toppings and the launch of the biggest pizza in Nigeria confirms there is no doubt that Pizza Hut will be well received in Lagos!” says Lee-Ann Cullingworth Chief Marketing Officer for Pizza Hut Africa.
“We are honoured and excited to bring Pizza Hut to Nigeria and truly believe we can delight the Nigerian consumers with our pizza. There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the Pizza Hut family, and part of this incredible country and continent,” said Ewan Davenport, General Manager Pizza Hut Africa. “We continue to strive to be the most-loved and fastest-growing pizza restaurant company in the world and can’t wait to serve our incredible pizzas to the incredible people of Nigeria.”