Mon | Feb 18, 2019

Restaurants of Jamaica to add five eateries in 2019

Published:Friday | January 18, 2019 | 12:07 AM
The KFC restaurant at the intersection of King and Port Royal streets, downtown Kingston.

Restaurants of Jamaica, ROJ, which operates the KFC and Pizza Hut franchises, said it has plans to establish another five stores this year as the company responds to a call from the market for greater accessibility.

Marketing director for the parent company, Tina Matalon said "Restaurants of Jamaica plans to continue its expansion by opening at least three more KFC locations and two additional Pizza Hut locations in 2019".

The company opened its 36th KFC location on December 15, 2018, on Market Street, Falmouth, Trelawny. The next store to be opened will be a KFC restaurant at Harbour View, St Andrew, in the first quarter of this year, Matalon said. A resident told the Financial Gleaner that Harbour View has apparently long not been considered a location for fast-food restaurants, but found it welcoming that KFC is seeking to establish an outlet there.

Matalon said the company is responding to a call for stores which are closer to growing population centres.

ROJ invested J$200 million in the 4,000 square feet KFC location in Falmouth, where it has employed 50 persons who serve the dine-in and drive-thru customers.

Among the 36 KFC and 11 Pizza Hut restaurants in Jamaica, the top-performing store is KFC Montego Bay, which, Matalon notes, "once held the title of number one in the world".

Another top performer is KFC Mandeville, Manchester which took the award for Restaurant of The Year in 2015 with the highest growth in the region, she said.

The newest location in Falmouth was selected due to "significant growth of residential communities in Trelawny from where many residents would travel to our Montego Bay locations to enjoy their KFC. This growth in Falmouth and surrounding communities warranted a dedicated KFC location. Falmouth is primed for continued growth and invest-ment of more businesses in the area," she said.

While declining to give a timeline for a return on investment, or ROI, Matalon nevertheless noted that "the KFC Falmouth location is expected to receive significant support from Trelawny's residents, who have long called for the quick-service giant to open their doors in the parish. The local support for the store has been overwhelming and is expected to continue on this path. Tourists also frequent the restaurant to enjoy a familiar brand. The 36th KFC location is well on its way to hitting the ROI targets."

She said that 2018 represented the fourth year of double-digit revenue growth for ROJ.

The marketing director said that she expected the ROJ brands to continue to grow in line with growth in the Jamaican economy.

"Our expectation is that the Jamaican economy will continue on its positive path. As such, we are continuing our aggressive expansion plans over the next year, showing our continued commitment to the development of Jamaica through job creation and economic growth," Matalon said.

ROJ has operated in Jamaica for 40 years. Other stores locations planned this year include one at West Kings House Road and the Washington Boulevard, St Andrew.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com