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The owner of the Pizza Hut, KFC and Frango Asado chains has one eye on expansion and one eye on delivery

The owner of the Pizza Hut, KFC and Frango Asado chains has one eye on expansion and one eye on delivery

Alexandre Santoro, global CEO of International Meal Company (IMC), owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut, Frango Assado brands and others, in Brazil, arrived at the company in 2021, when the second wave of Covid-19 came and many more. It was not possible to open restaurants to the public.

Facing the aftermath of the pandemic, the company has been forced in recent years to close units, renegotiate, extend debt, dispose of stores and Catering in Panama and Colombia and the sale of the Olive Garden restaurants it owned in Brazil.

The restructuring of the company, which today has 600 restaurants, more than 11,000 employees and revenues of R$2.4 billion last year, was more than necessary for Santoro to be able to “put the ball on the ground” and analyze the fast food game. Eat more quietly.

“We clearly saw that it was impossible to focus on everything, it was distracting our attention and our finances,” Santoro says in an interview with the show. It's workpartnership Newfeed With the CNN BrazilWhich will be broadcast on Sunday, April 28 at 8:45 pm on television and on all CNN Brasil platforms.

The focus is now clearer. “We see growth potential for Frango Asado, KFC and Pizza Hut,” Santoro says. And it continues. “It has a very broad reach, and there are very strong, recognizable, well-liked, profitable brands, and it's still poorly penetrated.”

Frango Assado series units, for example, are only found on São Paulo roads. Most KFC and Pizza Hut stores are located in malls. It is precisely for this reason that the next wave of expansion will be in department stores. Especially since, according to Santoro, traffic in shopping centers has declined and delivery service has gained great importance.

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In the case of KFC, for example, delivery did not exist. The brand had 70 stores, and today there are 200. Delivery and digital channels now represent 30% of revenue. This happens in all brands. This clearly poses a cost challenge for the company.

But excluding platforms like iFood, Rappi, etc. is unthinkable. “I would say it is no longer possible to survive without connectivity and digital channels,” says the IMC CEO. Therefore, in the high street stores that will be opened, specific zones will be created to make deliveries more flexible.

In the interview, which can be watched live at the link below, Santoro talks about consumer behaviour, the resilience of food retail, mistakes he's made, comments on his experience as global CEO of Popeyes US and much more.