Chicken Inn’s parent firm picks Zimbabwean to run Kenya units

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By Agencies

ZIMBABWE’S largest fast-food restaurant operator, Simbisa Brands, has picked Zimbabwean national Salim Eceolaza as managing director of Simbisa Brands in Kenya.

Eceolaza replaces Katja Berlee who has been at the helm of the Kenyan unit. Prior to his appointment Eceolaza was serving as the fast food chain’s group finance director.

“We congratulate him on his new position and wish him the best in his new endeavour,” said Simbisa Brands in a notice to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The appointment comes as Simbisa Brands plans to open more restaurant outlets in Kenya as it aims to woo fast food customers and outdo rivals.

The company — which operates quick service restaurants including Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Bakers Inn and Creamy Inn – said earlier its Kenya business had witnessed increased traffic with a positive outlook and that expansion would help initiate more growth opportunities.

“We have a major plan for growth in Kenya. We are looking at Kenya as a major market where we want to expedite our growth there,” Simbisa Brands managing director Warren Meares told local media in August.

The Africa-focused fast-food firm had earlier said it set its sights on expanding in African markets to take on international brands like McDonald’s and Burger King.

Zimbabwe and Kenya currently have the largest number of Simbisa restaurant outlets. It has 193 counters in Zimbabwe and 205 abroad.

In Kenya, Simbisa opened eight new outlets and closed four, bringing the total to 121 as at June 30 last year.