ETHIOPIA- Americana, the Mena region’s largest quick-service restaurant operator by the number of restaurants in its countries of operations, has unveiled plans to establish a new poultry feed facility in Ethiopia to bolster its operations. 

Mohamed Alabbar, the company chairman, emphasized that this investment in Ethiopia aims to enhance Americana’s poultry feed supply. 

Speaking at a recent event in Abu Dhabi, he expressed excitement about the initiative, stating, “I am really excited about starting a poultry feed plant in Addis Ababa.

Alabbar highlighted the challenge of insufficient animal feed production in the Arab world due to the inability to cultivate corn and soybeans. 

In the Arab world, we have a shortage of chicken feed … 65% of the cost of the chicken is the feed and none of us in the Arab world is able to produce the feed because we don’t produce soya, we don’t produce corn,” he added.

Founded in the 1960s, Americana originated as one of the first fast-food chains in Kuwait and has since expanded to dominate out-of-home dining in 12 countries, operating chains like KFC and Pizza Hut across MENA and Kazakhstan. 

Other brands owned by the company include Costa Coffee, Hardees, Baskin Robbins, Krispy Kreme, Wimpy, and TGI Fridays.

According to The National News, Americana, with 84 stores under construction as of June 30, aims to add 250-260 new restaurants by year-end. The company expanded its store count by 108 during H1 2023, reaching a total of 2,277 stores as of June.

Beyond the restaurant sector, Americana is also involved in the hospitality industry, operating hotel chains. In the past year, it initiated a significant project for marina and luxury accommodation development at the Albanian port of Durres. 

Additionally, in 2022, the company successfully raised US$1.8 billion from an initial public offering, simultaneously debuting on the stock exchanges of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Americana delivered a 7.8% growth compared to the same period in 2022, supported by significant restaurant portfolio expansion, increased like-for-like sales, and operating efficiencies, said the company in its Q2 earnings report.

With this investment in Ethiopia, Americana is seeking to optimize its production costs, as feed forms one of the biggest costs in the production of animal products. 

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