KFC Australia has led the growth of its local operator, Collins Foods, as more and more Aussies turned to convenience and brands they trust during the last year.
According to Collins Foods’ CEO Drew O’Malley KFC Australia was its “standout performer” in FY21, with same-store-sales growth of 12.9 per cent and underlying EBITDA growth of 17.9 per cent.
“Our focus on people and operations was critical to this result, as our teams did an exceptional job of keeping our restaurants operating at a world-class level, often without the benefit of dine-in sales channels,” O’Malley said.
“In what was a challenging environment for the foodservice market over the period, KFC Australia increased market share and grew its userbase through marketing and menu items that resonated with consumers, as well as a clear focus on guest experience and convenience.”
Taco Bell also saw growth in Australia, though still in the early stages of building its brand locally, with 57 per cent revenue growth and “greater profitability” – though the chain is not yet at a breakeven point, having lost $1.6 million.
“Consumer adoption of the ‘Mexican’ category continues to increase and, as a QSR offering, Taco Bell’s focus on taste, convenience and value remains a key differentiator,” O’Malley said.
Collins Foods has opened 16 Taco Bell locations in Australia to date: 12 in Queensland and four in Victoria.
Collins’ KFC Europe division, which is far more invested in food court and dine-in locations than in Australia, saw substantial impact during the year, while Sizzler Asia managed to remain profitable despite the virus.
Looking forward, O’Malley said the overall business is well positioned for the year ahead, with KFC Australia set to remain its “core engine”, and unveiling a plan to launch at least 66 new locations by 2028.
“Ongoing innovation across digital and delivery, including our delivery-as-a-service initiative, will drive further growth in our e-commerce channels. We have plans to roll-out kiosks in 30 to 50 restaurants and a further 60 digital menu boards in our drive-thru lanes in FY22, towards an ultimate target of having digital menu boards in all restaurants within three years,” O’Malley said.
“As the world emerges from the Covid-19 crisis, we intend to build on this foundation with further investments in our core operations to provide unmatched experiences for our customers and our people.”