KFC to start home delivery by end of the year

By Fiona Rotherham

New KFC stores have been configured for home delivery but process and stronger packaging are still being worked on. Photo / Nick Reed
New KFC stores have been configured for home delivery but process and stronger packaging are still being worked on. Photo / Nick Reed

Restaurant Brands New Zealand hopes to introduce home delivery for its KFC brand before the end of the year.

The listed company, which operates the fast food chains KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks, has been working on home deliveries of KFC as a concept for the past 12 months.

Chief executive Russel Creedy said home delivery now accounts for 30 percent of the global market for KFC and was particularly high in some markets such as the Middle East.

The website and digital tools are already in place for it to happen and the company's refurbished and new KFC stores have been configured for home delivery but process and stronger packaging are still being worked on, he said.

A trial will get underway before the end of the year to sort out "any gremlins" rather than to confirm whether we want to do it, he said.

Some existing stores are already stretched at peak times dealing with takeaway and in-dining orders so "we don't want to overload them", Creedy said.

The company has decided it is best to split the production lines for home delivery and the rest, which is why stores have been configured with double cooking and handling facilities and both sets of customers will be given priority, he said.

Restaurant Brand has 42 KFC stores in New South Wales through its A$82.4 million purchase in April of independent franchisee QSR and is actively seeking to buy other independent franchisees in that market.

There's an opportunity to introduce home delivery through those Australian stores if the New Zealand trial proves successful, Creedy said.

Fast food operator McDonald's began delivering hamburgers out of its New Lynn restaurant this week and will do so from its Glenfield restaurant from next week.

The service is only available in the evenings between 5pm and 10.30pm and to households near each restaurant.

Pizza Hut has also done home deliveries for years but Creedy said he doesn't think it would work for Carl's Jr because "burgers are best eaten fresh".

The company said it would be watching with interest how the rival chain's home foray pans out.

The shares fell 0.7 per cent to $5.41 today and have gained 22 per cent this year, outpacing the S&P/NZX 50 Index's 14 per cent gain.

- BusinessDesk

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