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This Chicken Chain Opens a New Location Every 3.5 Hours — Thanks in Part to an Unusual Menu Strategy With locations spanning 149 countries, KFC has cemented its status as the fastest-growing retail brand under the Yum! Brands umbrella and a key driver of its overall success.

By Carl Stoffers

Key Takeaways

  • KFC marked a significant milestone with the opening of its 30,000th restaurant in Rome.
  • The chain's expansion has been a major driver of Yum! Brands' profitability.
  • The brand's record-setting pace of opening approximately 2,700 new outlets in a year underscores its pivotal role in Yum!'s financial performance and stock market success.
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KFC opened its 30,000th restaurant this month in Rome, a milestone that demonstrates its consistent global expansion since 1952 and marks a significant achievement for parent company Yum! Brands, Inc.

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Global reach

Averaging a new location every 3.5 hours, KFC's operation now spans 149 countries, with plans to enter its 150th country soon. This expansion not only solidifies KFC as Yum!'s fastest-growing retail brand but also accounts for 50% of the company's divisional operating profit.

"Opening our 30,000th restaurant is a testament to the support of our local business partners, employees and customers over the past nearly 75 years," Sabir Sami, CEO of KFC Global, said in a statement. "While we are a global brand, we aim to meet the unique needs and expectations of our guests on a local level, with menus that resonate with the local culture and flavors of each community. That also includes serving local communities through our food donation and upskilling programs, which operate in many of our markets, including Italy."

Related: See Where KFC Ranked on our 2024 Franchise 500 Listing

Continued growth

In 2023, KFC opened approximately 2,700 outlets in 96 countries, with a particularly strong growth rate in India and Latin America. Such expansion efforts have bolstered Yum!'s stock performance, which has achieved an 11.1% gain over the past year.

Sami said 25 additional KFC locations are planned for Italy as Yum! Brands' ambitious growth strategy challenges rivals like McDonald's and Starbucks.

Related: From Global Giants Like Taco Bell and McDonald's to Emerging Brands Like Crumbl, These Are The Top 15 Fast Food Franchises

Carl Stoffers

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Business Editor

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