Why Yum! Brands is providing a Feast for the East

A new store in China every day

In the same week that will see Yum! Brands, parent company of restaurant brands including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s, opening another seven KFC restaurants in Mainland China, VP Global IT Dickie Oliver sits down with to discuss the issues associated with growing a global brand.

Of course, the achievement of opening seven new outlets in China is nothing new to either KFC or Yum! as a whole. In fact, Yum! has been opening nearly one new KFC every day in Mainland China since it launched there, and the Chinese Division of Yum!, based in Shanghai, has been reported separately since the beginning of 2005 due it its size, unique strength and overall development.

In fact, according to the statistics, this is the ninth consecutive year that Yum! Brands has opened over 1000 new restaurants outside of the US – something that Dickie Oliver believes is critically important to the core values that lie behind Yum!

“When you look at Yum! from a global perspective, the key to our continued success and earnings and revenue growth is going to be that expansion,” he explained to Editor-in-Chief Adam Burns during an exclusive interview at the recent NextGeneration Retail Summit in California.


“If you look at Yum! China going from 3000 stores today to 5000 and up to 10,000 stores, the amount of infrastructure, technology systems, people capabilities and know-how required to do that, means we are going to have to continue to build on all of that and that is going to be an enormous challenge.

“So we continue to focus on those areas and build internal know-how because part of our strategy is to build in-country capability.”

What’s more, with over a million Yum! employees around the world today, Oliver is also conscious of tapping into the collective knowledge of the company’s workforce. “There has to be a lot of ideas out there, right?” he notes. “We shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel every time we have a challenge come up before us,” he adds. “At the end of the day our business isn’t that complex. We sell chicken, we make pizzas and we make tacos so we shouldn’t have to figure out the best way to do that multiple times.”

Yum! China, for instance, is currently trying to roll out technologies to their 3000 plus company stores and have selected, or are in the process of selecting a firm out of Boston to supply that. ‘So what you’ve got is Chinese business requirements talking to an American company and trying to facilitate that entire discussion, requirements, GAAP analysis, what have you.  So one of my employees on the business side of architecture has spent the past two weeks in Shanghai facilitating that discussion and being a part of that discussion.”

To find out more go to Meet The Boss TV.

More Stories By John Funnell

John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of and – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.