U.S. restaurant chain, McDonalds is looking to expand its global footprint to countries such as Nigeria and other large Africa markets. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Don Thompson, made its plans known during a recent interview in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. “We’re looking at the opportunities that Africa may yield,” he said. “There’s quite a few countries across Africa we want to look at, but Nigeria clearly is a large country that has opportunity,” he continued.
The company is looking to considerably expand in emerging regions including emerging African economies as its rival, Burger King continues to expand aggressively across the world. Last year, Burger King opened its first restaurant outlet in South Africa with plans of opening outlets in other African countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nigeria’s fast growing economy is particularly attractive to McDonald’s given its positive growth fundamentals in the past decade. Its large population also poses a strong positive pull for the company. The country’s economy has expanded by 8.2% on average since 1999 and is set to expand by 6.1% this year.
Fast food giants such as U.S. based Kentucky Fried Chicken and Domino’s have long looked to the country for growth.
Elias Schulze, managing partner of The Africa Group, a boutique Africa-focused investment consultancy, said U.S. takeout stores are rapidly becoming “aspirational brands” for cosmopolitan Africans with disposable income.
“An upwardly mobile, confident, Western-leaning and young consumer class bodes well for an American burger boom,” he said.