Regional Kentucky Fried Chicken MD Sabir Sami does not see technology replacing traditional dine-in experience
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is preparing to launch an order tracking app so customers can trace their delivery from the store to the door.
Sabir Sami, KFC’s managing director for MENA, Pakistan, Turkey and Asia, told Arabian Business that their franchise partners, Americana Group, are currently investing in a geo-tracking system.
He said the system would be similar to ordering an Uber taxi where customers can track where their driver is, how far away they are and how quickly their product will be delivered. It would be incorporated into the KFC app.
Sami explained it is currently in the pilot stage and they are working with different vendors.
He said: “To get it all integrated is easier said than done. It’s one thing to track your drivers but then you’ve got to integrate it to your stores and then integrate it with the consumer apps as well. All that is in process right now and hopefully that will be launched sooner rather than later.”
The company is also in the process of installing self-ordering kiosks, which already exist in branches in Dubai Mall, JBR and Umm Sequim. He said: “We’re rolling them out as time permits and as the investment comes along.”
However, despite the digital transformation of the industry, Sami still believed there is a future for the traditional restaurant. At the moment he revealed, the growth in deliveries is “in the high single digits”, while the dine-in business is growing in the “mid-size single digits”.
KFC currently operates 774 stores in the MENA region – 558 stores in the GCC, 220 in Saudi Arabia, 151 in the UAE, 66 in Kuwait, Oman (36), Bahrain (24) and Egypt (156).
Sami said: “We firmly believe that consumers will seek an experience. We think that food is not just fuel but it is also an experience and more and more consumers are looking at the dining experience as a social experience, an opportunity to connect with family or friends or work colleagues. An opportunity to relax and laugh and destress. We believe that the restaurant business and the KFC restaurants will continue to thrive.
“We see that all the time. Even though we see our deliver business grow, we see our dine-in business grow as well.”