Yum: An absolute giant Fast Food corporation

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Yum Brands: Case Study

Yum brand! Fast Food corporation, Recipe for success

Yum: An absolute giant Fast Food corporation
Yum: An absolute giant Fast Food corporation

Yum! Brands Inc. a fast food corporation, is an American based global company. It is one of the top leaders of chicken , pizza and Mexican food groups. Yum! was created on May 30, 1997, as Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc. from Pepsi co’s fast food division as the parent corporation of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurant. 

Mention the name “Yum brand” to the someone on the street and I don’t think that many people would have a clue who they are. But if you mention Taco Bell , KFC and Pizza Hut then it would be easy for them to recognize. With their brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, Yum! Brands on average opens over 6 new restaurants per day.

All the three fast food serving famous names comes from a Parent company Yum brands with over 43,000 restaurants across more than 135 Countries; out of which, approximately 95% are franchised with the balance being company owned.

Oh! Talking about fast food online delivery, you might want to know about Uber Eats.

Let’s see how the three fast food Yum brand names doing on their own.

Taco Bell

Fast food: Taco Bell
Fast food: Taco Bell

Taco Bell, a fast food company, certainly retains its crown as the best performer of the trio. The Mexican food giant is the king. The restaurants serve a variety of Mexican-inspired foods, that include: tacos, burritos, quesadillas , nachos, novelty and specialty items, along with a variety of “value menu” items. As of 2018, Taco Bell serves over two billion customers each year, at 7,072 restaurants, more than 93 percent of which are owned and operated by independent franchisees and licensees. They also made a good revenue by making the highest of all the three brands.

The problem faced by Taco Bell

The fast food restaurant chain, Taco Bell, was sued for claiming that the taco mixture used in their products was actually beef. According to USDA standards, a beef mixture served by businesses must contain at least 40% beef in order to be labeled as such. The lawsuit alleges (with some evidence) that their taco mixture only contains 36% beef, not the 88% beef that they claim.

Marketing strategy of the Taco Bell was very innovative and with brand awareness campaigns for e.g Taco emoji Engine campaign when the chain petitioned successfully for a taco emoji to be introduced.

They also made innovative move with new products and took notice and responded to the health conscious demands of millennial consumers. They were not afraid to go head-to-head with its rival McDonald’s.

Taco Bell in 2020

Taco Bell was one of the many fast food chains that trimmed its menu during the COVID-19 crisis. Such a move streamlined operations for kitchens pressured by an abrupt shift to an entirely off-premise environment. The challenge, however, is that plenty of consumers have expressed their discontent about items on the chopping block. 

Perhaps, as a nod of encouragement, Heather Mottershaw, Taco Bell’s vice president of Product Development, insists the reduction is simply “phase one” of a “menu evolution,” and that we’ll see plenty of new innovations from Taco Bell sooner than later. 

 “We need to make sure right now that we are giving consumers what they want and that they’re getting it through the drive-thru. In order to do that, slimming down and streamlining operations really enables a quicker, speedier experience for consumers,” said Mottershaw, who has been with the brand for 18 years. “But this is phase one. What this also does is, when the time’s right and consumers are ready, it allows us to build out new options and new innovations.” 

Taco Bell in India

Taco Bell is making India its biggest international market.

The US-based fast food chain on Thursday announced a plan to open 600 restaurants in the country over the next 10 years, looking to cash in on the country’s massive market and rapidly growing middle class. The move will create more than 20,000 new jobs, the company said.

“We see so much opportunity in India, as it is still a largely untapped market for Taco Bell and offers huge potential for the brand,” Ankush Tuli, the restaurant chain’s managing director in Asia, said in a statement.

Taco Bell, which already has 35 restaurants in India, has signed a master franchise agreement with Indian company Burman Hospitality. It expects to launch more than 25 new outlets through the partnership.


Fast food: KFC
Fast food: KFC

KFC is a global fast food chicken restaurant brand with a rich, decades-long history of success and innovation. It all started with one cook, Colonel Harland Sanders, who created a finger lickin’ good recipe more than 75 years ago—a list of 11 secret herbs and spices scratched out on the back of his kitchen door.

Today, the company still follows his formula for success; with real cooks breading and freshly preparing delicious chicken by hand in more than 23,000 restaurants in over 135 countries and territories around the world.

Revenue of KFC – 2019

Revenue of KFC – 2019 was a truly historic year for the company. For the full-year, they generated over $50 billion in system sales and ended the year with over 50,000 restaurants delivering results consistent with their long-term growth algorithm with same-store sales growth of 3% and net-new unit growth of 4%. 

Problem facing

Yum was struggling in China due to KFC because during early 2013 and early 2017, 916 labs confirmed human cases of H7N9 and were reported to WHO (World Health Organization). Avian flu is also considered as bird flu. Due to this, the KFC business was suffering in fears, and with a high profile investigation into one of it’s former supplier, lead Chinese customer to avoid the chicken franchise chain. 

But even though suffering from this outbreak, they continued to remain agile and adapting their offering to respond quickly to the evolving taste and demands of Chinese customers. 

Marketing strategy

KFC introduced a new product “the vegan imposter burger” in 2 January 2020 In UK. It was sold out nation wide in just 4 days and many places experienced same type of sold out.  They also found sales of the burger to be 500% higher than that of a normal burger.

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They can’t wait to get the imposter back out in the restaurant so vegans can get their finger lickin fix. But despite this wide diversification, the franchise brands remains true to its core brand values, as a consumer you know what your are going to get and that must be the secret to its continued franchise success.

KFC in India

There are 350 KFC outlets in India. The company has adapted the standard KFC offerings to Indian tastes and the menu options in India include the Hot & Crispy Chicken and Fiery Grilled bucket options, Chicken Zinger, Krushers, Rice Bowlz and the more recently launched 5-in-1 Meal Box.

The first Indian KFC was a two-storey outlet on the fashionable Brigade Road in Bangalore  in June 1995.

By 2008–09, KFC operated 34 outlets in India. In 2014, KFC launched the “So Veg, So Good” menu as part of an India-specific promotional strategy focused on enhancing their vegetarian range.

Current scenario

That’s what Kentucky Fried Chicken signaled to customers Monday as the company suspended its “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good” tagline after 64 years, deeming it “the most inappropriate slogan for 2020” amid the coronavirus pandemic. The suspension will affect the slogan’s use in global advertising “for a little while,” the company said in a statement. “We find ourselves in a unique situation — having an iconic slogan that doesn’t quite fit in the current environment.

Pizza Hut

Fast food: Pizza Hut
Fast food: Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut has grown to become the largest pizza company in the world. They have more than 18,000 restaurants in over 100 countries.

Revenue of Pizza Hut

Global pizza chain Pizza Hut’s average sales per unit reached approximately 714 thousand U.S. dollars in 2019, down from 878 thousand the previous year. Sales per store have remained reasonably steady over the years, with the lowest figure being 714 thousand U.S. dollars and the highest at 900 thousand. 

Marketing strategy

The current log was introduced in 1967 to 1999 and then it was redesigned in 2014 – “The Red Roof logo” 

This isn’t the first time a brand has gone retro. In recent years companies like Burger King , Pepsi and Coca Cola have brought back there old packing and limited edition producers to appeal to nostalgic customers and younger generations yearning for a taste of yesterday.

Problem faced

It was a bit different with Pizza Hut over the past decades. The delivery chain and restaurant, appeared to be left standing by the rivals such as Domino’s and Papa John’s. It was the poorest performing Division of at growth in sales. The customers appeared not to associate Pizza Hut with the food delivery so they have been working on making its online delivery system more user friendly and efficient and opening small delivery and carry out units.

So, a challenging twelve months most certainly lie ahead for Yum brands in an industry which across the board faces increasing labor and supply costs, high staff turnover quickly changing customers demands and low customer loyalty due to increase competition.

Current scenario 

Already the world’s largest pizza restaurant company with nearly 17,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, Pizza Hut expects to double its footprint in the regions covered by the new alliance.

It provides Italian-American cuisine, including pizza, pasta, side dishes and desserts. It has 18,703 restaurants worldwide as of December 31, 2019, making it the world’s largest pizza chain in terms of number of locations. It is a subsidiary of Yum brand!, one of the world’s largest fast food restaurant companies.

Pizza Hut in India

Pizza Hut a division of US-based Yum brand Inc!, is betting big on India which has been identified by the fast food chain as one of the key markets for its future global growth, says a top company official.

The company, which today opened its 9,000th restaurant outside the US in Mumbai, has already lined up plans to double its outlets in India to over 700 over the next five years.

Enjoyed the article? You can read and enjoy more case studies here.

Danish Abbasi

Danish Abbasi

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