KFC, Elias Ketema part ways

The deal to bring one of the world’s most successful food franchises to Ethiopia – Kentucky Fried Chicken – by the founder of the posh Italian restaurant Gusto and co-owner of Kaldi’s Cafe, Captain Elias Ketema, has faltered, The Reporter has learnt.

According to sources, the franchises African based executives and Elias decided to part ways as the duo could not agree on a number of pressing issues, including on quality of products and the supply of products such as chicken meat. Elias had anticipated the opening of its first restaurant a year ago and had been hiring employees’ years after he began negotiating to bring it to Ethiopia, sensing a growing appetite for such food. 

Kentucky based Yum!, from its African headquarters from South Africa, had been eying the Ethiopian market and searching for the ideal partner, after it successfully launched three Pizza Hut franchises, last year.

“Yes, it is (the deal is) off,” Elias told The Reporter, confirming the news.

Elias has since given-up properties it rented for the planned opening of its first restaurant with the spacious property rented at a cost of 150, 000 / a month inside the BerhaneAdere building in Bole. The property has since been converted to a Diageo liquor store.

In the meantime, Yum! has applied to register a number of its trademarks with the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office, including “twister” sandwiches, which it made famous around the world.

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