Yoma Reveals Finger Lickin’ Good Location for Rangoon’s Premier KFC

By Nobel Zaw 5 May 2015

RANGOON — The wait is almost over for fast food fanatics in Burma’s commercial and culinary capital, as American franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has settled on its first location in the heart of downtown Rangoon.

Local partner Yoma Strategic announced late last month that its two-storey premier venue will be installed across the street from the famed General Aung San Market on Bogyoke Road.

“Our first restaurant in the heart of downtown Yangon [Rangoon] will enable us to introduce KFC’s famous Original Recipe Chicken to the diverse mix of people who live and work in the area,” Yoma’s head of business development, JR Ching, said in a press release.

The opening date for the new location has not yet been disclosed, but Yoma said it aims to have several new spots up and running by the end of the year.

The new chain is expected to fare well in Burma’s growing consumer market. An announcement on the KFC Myanmar Facebook page, which revealed an artists’ rendering of the new restaurant, garnered thousands of “likes” and a flood of comments within hours.

Fried chicken champion Yumi, who has sampled KFC’s signature crispy fried chicken in Singapore, said she was “super excited to actually try out KFC here! in Yangon!!” The psyched supporter added that that she “never gets bored of crispy crunchy fried chicken” and “heavenly” mashed potato.

KFC Corporation, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc., is the world’s second largest fast food chain with more than 19,400 KFC outlets in 120 countries around the globe. Yum! operates more than 41,000 restaurants worldwide, including Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.

Plans for the new KFC Myanmar, a joint venture between Yoma and Yum!, were announced late last year and met with eager appetite. Many Western food chains that flourished elsewhere in Asia never established themselves in Burma because of economic sanctions.

Yoma’s Executive Chairman, Serge Pun, has become a favored partner for investors as one of the only major Burmese tycoons that never appeared on the US sanctions list, a roster of individuals and businesses banned from partnering with US firms because of ties to the former military regime.

Pun is one of Burma’s most prominent businessmen and has built up a vast business conglomerate since the early 1990s. His firms, which include Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings and Serge Pun & Associates, have interests in real estate, banking, agriculture, the consumer market, automotive and luxury tourism business.