Seven years after leaving Israel, US fast food chain KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) will soon recommence operating in the country, and has begun hiring staff. Since departing Israel in 2012, KFC has repeatedly spoken about its plans to return, which until now have not been fulfilled. But sources inform "Globes" that KFC is now in the process of recruiting employees and setting up an Israel headquarters.
This will be the fourth time that KFC has entered the Israel market, after failing on its three previous attempts. The first attempt was in the 1980s, the second in the 1990s and the third was between 2003 and 2012.
KFC is owned by US corporate giant Yum Brands Inc. which is traded on Nasdaq with a market cap of $29 billion. KFC is one of the world's largest restaurant chains with 45,000 outlets in over 135 countries.
Despite its previous failures, KFC's last entry into Israel in 2003 under the franchise of Udi Shamai was greeted warmly. Eight branches were opened but soon closed down after Shamai said he was unable to make a profit.
Shami blamed the failure on the issue of kashrut. At first the chain was not kosher and used the chicken supplied by the global chain, which contained milk powder. In 2009, the chain became kosher, replacing the milk powder with a soya substitute but Shamai told "Globes," "The moment we switched to kosher sales began to plunge and it was no longer economically viable. The product was less good whereas things had gone fine with un-kosher chickens."
At the time, Shamai said that KFC only has a future in Israel if the chain was not kosher.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 19, 2019
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