Yum China CEO shares rare inside look at company
Yum China CEO Micky Pant speaks in Beijing.
Yum China CEO Micky Pant provided a rare glimpse inside the business of running a major fast food restaurant chain in China this week when he spoke at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management in Beijing, a news release said. Yum was the first international restaurant chain operator in the China market when it opened a KFC in Beijing in 1987 when China and the world at large were vastly different than today.
But the brand has blazed the territory and opened it up for many other world-wide concepts to take their wares inside one of the world's most populous countries. Today Yum China — which broke off as a separate brand from Yum Brands late last year — is the country's largest restaurant company, with more than 7,500 restaurants in 1,100 Chinese cities.
In China, the company oversees outlets of KFC, Pizza Hut, Little Sheep, East Dawning and Taco Bell brands, opening an average of two new locations per day and serving 2 billion customers every year.
Pant told students that five main areas of performance have been key to the brand's success there:
- Localized product and menu development to reflect changing preferences;
- Talent development and empowerment;
- Marketing geared to Chinese consumers;
- Digital engagement and delivery leadership; and
- Combined international/local insight.
Likewise, Pant told the students that Yum and its China brands have helped that culture and its citizens truly join the world economy, particularly in the international restaurant market.
"Over the past 30 years, we have supported the modernization and evolution of the country's restaurant sector by introducing international standards, sharing global knowledge and training generations of industry professionals," Pant said in his address to the students this week. "As an independent company focused on China, we are now in a position to make even greater contributions to the industry, our communities and the country."
After speaking to the students, Pant met with some of them to discuss ways that international brands can both innovate and localize in China to expand the overall marketplace.