US pizza chain Papa John’s has confirmed plans to open 60 new outlets in Kenya and Uganda. The outlets will be established under a partnership with AAH Limited-subsidiary Kitchen Express.
AAH Limited holds a majority stake in Hass Petroleum Group, which operates 140 fueling stations across 10 African countries. The deal will see Papa John’s Pizza outlets unveiled at Hass petrol stations starting with Nairobi.
Papa John’s Pizza operates 5,500 restaurants in 50 countries around the world.
“Establishing ourselves in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time presents a great opportunity for Papa Johns to deliver on our…promise and continue our global momentum as a brand,” stated Amanda Clark, Papa John’s Chief Development OAfficer.
It is an indicator of the interest of oil marketers in fast food as a way of providing more value for their customers. Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades under the Shell brand name, in 2019 announced that it would acquire a 50 percent stake in KFC in East Africa, through an agreement with franchise owners Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings.
Papa John’s which has accelerated its international growth in recent years is the world’s third-largest pizza delivery restaurant. In Kenya, it will be competing with local brands and other international chains such as KFC, Burger King and Subway.
Kitchen Express and Hass Petroleum Group Chairman Abdinasir Ali Hassan expressed optimism that the partnership would be successful for both parties, as Papa John’s looks to gain a foothold in the East African market.
“We are excited to partner with Papa Johns as it continues its expansion around the globe,” he stated.
Papa John’s Pizza was founded by John Schnatter in 1984. His net worth is over a Billion dollars. Schnatter, however, was ousted as CEO in 2018 after sparking a storm with comments he made stating that the National Football League (NFL) did not do enough to stop protests by players who took the knee during the national anthem to protest racially-motivated police killings.
At the time, NFL had a partnership with Papa John’s Pizza. By the time Schnatter exited as CEO, the partnership had been terminated.
Even after the NFL scandal, he remained as Chairman of the Board of Directors but this also did not last. He resigned after it emerged that he used the n-word during internal sensitivity training, claiming that Colonel Sanders had used the word without backlash.