Unlike most of the Western world, Croatia is not a nation that has readily embraced American fast-food culture. Six Subway stores came and went pretty quickly in the capital Zagreb, and even giants McDonald’s took until 1996 to open its first store. In December 2011 however, another American fast-food giant entered the market.
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), the world’s 3rd largest restaurant chain with over 17,000 outlets in more than 115 countries, opened its doors in Zagreb and joined McDonald’s as the only large international fast food operators in the country.
KFC first opened its doors in the Arena Centre shopping mall in Zagreb in December 2011, and in just over 14 months have expanded by opening two further outlets in the capital, one in Avenue Mall and the other in the suburb of Zaprude south-east of the city centre, which is also the first drive-thru KFC in the country.
Croatia Week talked to Goran Golubic from AmRest, the company which owns the franchise rights to operate KFC in Croatia, about how Croatians have taken to KFC.
How have the first 14 months gone for KFC in Croatia – have expectations been met?
The first 14 months have been an overwhelming experience. We went through a rollercoaster of situations both pleasing and challenging. Expectations have definitely been met, we have 3 beautiful restaurants in Zagreb and based on feedback, our customers are very pleased with the brand, product and service that we provide in Croatia.
A lot of food retailers are experiencing tough times, have KFC managed to grow in the time they have been here?
We are tracking a continuous increase of more and more satisfied customers on a monthly basis. We do our best focusing on providing the highest possible standards of product quality and operational excellence, which greatly influences the continuous rise of new customers in our restaurants.
Do you think you have made an impact on McDonald’s business?
We offer a variety of different products which consist of fresh Croatian chicken and secret recipe of herbs and spices, therefore our service to customers is unique on the market.
How many staff do KFC employ in Croatia?
We presently employ near 100 people however as we continue to develop there will be a substantial amount of new opportunities with us in KFC in the near future.
Staff at a KFC store in Zagreb
Where does the chicken come from that is used in your restaurants, is it local Croatian chicken?
I’m glad you asked this question. We receive fresh Croatian chicken which is hand breaded and prepared in all of our restaurants. We provide nothing but the freshest products for our customers.
What are the plans for KFC in Croatia?
Our primary focus is to be reachable to anyone who would like to enjoy the delicious taste of fresh KFC chicken.
Follow the goings on with KFC in Croatia via their Facebook page.