How China Became KFC’s Most Important Market

KFC, with 29,000 stores and 800,000 employees globally, is one of the world’s most extensive fast-food chains, opening a new location every three and a half hours. While it originated in Salt Lake City in 1952, its rapid expansion is now significantly fueled by its presence in China, opening its 10,000th store in comparison to its over 4,300 locations in the United States. KFC China, operated by Yum China, has adapted its menu to include local favorites and has embraced digital ordering and delivery. Despite its success, KFC China has faced challenges like food safety scandals and the economic impacts of Covid. In 2022, Yum China reported $7.2 billion in revenue from KFC, with plans to return $3 billion to shareholders over three years. CNBC got an exclusive interview with Yum China CEO Joey Wat at a KFC in Hangzhou, China to learn more.

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