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KFC delivers for Collins Foods, though Sizzler fizzles

Delivery and click-and-collect supported the chicken brand through Covid-19.

KFC saw Australian sales jump 15.6 per cent during the last six months off the back of strong digital sales and partnerships with food delivery services.

While many of the business’ stores were shut for periods of the half year, KFC nonetheless achieved same store sales growth of 12.4 per cent and doubled digital sales, driven by a rise in click-and-collect and delivered food as customers wanted for a sense of normalcy during lockdown.

“In uncertain times, research has shown that consumers gravitate towards known and trusted brands: this has underpinned KFC’s sales growth,” said parent company Collins Foods’ CEO Drew O’Malley.

“[We also] made great efforts to engage customers during the pandemic, emphasising the accessibility, safety and value we offer, adapting our operational model to accommodate dine-in restrictions and further expanding our drive-thru and delivery capabilities.”

Delivery capabilities are handled largely through Deliveroo, Menulog and DoorDash, and have been expanded to 178 of KFC’s national stores compared to 137 a year ago.

Despite the strong showing, Collins Foods’ other brands in Australia didn’t fare so well. Sales at Taco Bell stores have recovered since the pandemic first hit, the business said, though the offering has had to shift to offer more delivery-friendly deals in order to support the current state of play.

Stablemate Sizzler, however, saw revenue collapse 57.1 per cent to $8.7 million and delivered a loss of $600,000.

As a result, all Australian stores were closed by 15 November following a review, and its 600 employees were offered positions at KFC and Taco Bell or otherwise took redundancy payments.

Sizzler Asia is improving, however, and remains profitable across its 64 restaurants.

The plan for the remainder of the year, O’Malley said, is to ramp up new restaurants and strengthen its operational foundation to continue delivering strong digital successes.

“The Group has a whole has delivered a great result in light of the challenges it has faced over this period,” O’Malley said.

“Collins Foods will continue to remain focused on what we do best – running great restaurants – and on delivering on the multiple attractive growth runways we see for our business in the years to come.”

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