“I, therefore, believe the business can be a great success, even with the limitations, once the right strategy is implemented.”
American fast food retail chain, Burger King, is expected to start its operations in Nigeria by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Nairametrics reported an exclusive interview with Antoine Zammarieh, Burger King’s franchisee in Nigeria and Managing Director, Allied Food & Confectionery Services Limited.
“Burger King will start operations by Autumn, i.e. between September and November 2021. We have set up the Quality Control unit and have met some of our local suppliers to seal the deal. Also, we have sent some of the ingredients to America to test quality,” Mr Zammarieh said.
In March, Mr Zammarieh had announced that the fast-food retail brand had its sights set on the Nigerian market.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce our signing of a development agreement with Burger King for the Nigerian market.
“I believe this would be a tremendous step towards giving more confidence to the Nigerian market and consumers in general, especially during these hard times.
“I always believed in Nigeria and its people. I am confident this venture will go a long way and prove successful for Burger King, Nigeria and our company,” Mr Zammarieh posted on his LinkedIn page.
However, this is not the first time Burger King had said it was coming to Nigeria.
In 2018, Daniel Schwartz, the Chief Executive of Burger King’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International, told the Financial Times he saw a “huge opportunity” in the country.
This comment followed Burger King’s international expansion plan, with the outfit currently sporting over 17,000 outlets worldwide and its plans to hinge on Nigeria’s 200 million people, many of them youngsters.
The Hamburger chain’s first outlet in Nigeria to open in Lagos will compete with Dominos Pizza and Krispy Kreme.
Webhaptic, a market research firm, reported in 2019 that fast-moving consumer goods expenditure was highest in Nigeria ($41.7 billion) in Africa.
It noted, “The FMCG market in Nigeria is not an easy field for conducting such business, because competition is very big here. The specificity of the FMCG sector is also underlined by the requirements and pressures that are placed on the quality of products.”
However, considering Nigeria’s economy, barely escaping a recession, the naira weakening at the foreign exchange window, and multinational franchises like Shoprite seeking to leave the country, there are concerns why Burger King chose Nigeria at this time.
Speaking with Peoples Gazette, Olamide Adeboboye, an economic analyst, said, “The move shows foreign investors still believe in the investment opportunities available in the Nigerian market.
“While competition and other factors continue to plague the FMCG industry, getting the right strategy in an environment where you have a price-sensitive, and increasing health-conscious population is key in being successful as a business.”
He added, “I, therefore, believe the business can be a great success, even with the limitations, once the right strategy is implemented.”