World News – AU – Aussies flock to KFC amid lockdowns


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Fast food operator Collins Foods is increasing its investment in delivery capacity, shifting its focus from dine-in to click-and-collect as the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating consumer demand for convenience.

Collins Foods sales rose 11 percent to $ 499. 6 million in the six months to 18. October, when consumers bought more fried chicken and tacos from their 242 KFC stores and 12 Taco Bell stores in Australia.

Sales at Collins Foods’ KFC stores rose more than 12 percent in October. Delivered

However, net income fell 19 percent to $ 16. 5 million after the company incurred $ 3. One-time cost of 3 million to close the last Sizzler restaurants in Australia.

The underlying net profit, before Sizzler’s acquisition costs and before taking into account new accounting standards for leasing contracts, increased by 15. 1 percent to $ 27. 5 million.

Sizzler’s eateries were hit hard by the pandemic, and sales in the same store fell by 50. 7 percent before the last nine stores close in mid-November. The group received $ 4. 6 million wage subsidies passed on to employees.

In contrast, KFC’s sales in the same store in Australia rose 12. 4 percent – more than twice as much as the 4. 9 percent growth in the previous first half of the year – when consumers flocked to their transit locations or ordered online for home delivery. KFC sales in the same store in Europe decreased 4. 2 percent, as COVID-19 restrictions put a strain on traffic.

Managing director Drew O’Malley, who took over the helm in July after three years as chief operating officer of Collins Foods, said the group is shifting its focus to delivery and digital as consumers are less inclined to dine.

« Digital and delivery have been key growth pillars for Collins and certainly for the industry, » O’Malley told The Australian Financial Review after it released its interim results on Tuesday.

Changes in behavior that have made work easier, such as. B.. Online orders are likely to remain in place. Tougher behaviors like social distancing and wearing masks are eliminated.

« COVID just amplified the trends that were already in place, » O’Malley said. « In the past six to seven months, we’ve seen our e-commerce sales have doubled, tripling our delivery sales, while click-and-collect sales are up 64 percent.

« During COVID behavior changes that have made people’s jobs easier, such as. B.. Online orders are likely behaviors that will persist. Behaviors that are more difficult for people, such as social distancing and wearing masks, will be eliminated. « 

Deliveries via food aggregators Deliveroo, Menulog and DoorDash are now available in 178 KFC restaurants and will be available in another 22 KFC branches over the next few weeks.

The group also plans to accelerate Taco Bell’s expansion after new stores were put on hold during the pandemic. The menus have also been changed to offer larger deals on bundled value meals, in part to support the shift towards delivery, where orders tend to be larger than dinner or pickup orders.

« The expansion of the Taco Bell network has been delayed due to COVID-19, but there is a strong pipeline in place for 2022, » O’Malley said.

On 10. A new drive-through restaurant Taco Bell opened in Roxburgh Park in Victoria on November 1st. Between six and eight new restaurants are to be opened in the 2021 calendar.

Mr O’Malley said about 20 Taco Bell stores could open in cities like Brisbane and Melbourne over the next two to three years (the rights to the Taco Bell brand in NSW are held by Restaurant Brands).

« The more we build and the more restaurant brands we build, the stronger the brand becomes. We think we have tons of run rate, « he said.

Four lower houses from $ 4. 7 million to $ 5. 6 million are on offer, as are the remaining three-bedroom apartments near the top of the huge skyscraper.

The manufacturer faced investors Tuesday when law firm Piper Alderman said it was investigating a potential shareholder lawsuit against the company and its auditors.

Australian farmers and meat processors are under pressure as Middle Eastern customers hit by weak oil prices cut subsidies in order to reliably supply their populations with high quality food.

Moderna’s vaccine news has sparked a surge of optimism in the research community, but there is still a long way to go before adoption. The Queensland border has opened up to Victorians and Sydneysiders. Follow the updates here.

Collins Foods, ASX, KFC, ASX: CKF, Taco Bell, Sizzler

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