Fried chicken empire KFC yesterday announced it had signed a deal with B&Q China to set up drive-through restaurants at selected stores.
The first of the new KFC restaurants will be located at three B&Q stores inShanghai, Qingdao and Wuxi. In the next three years, KFC plans to open 100 more drive-throughs in China through partnerships of this kind.
The move, together with a similar one taken by McDonald's China last year, provides a glimpse at the sort of expansion other chain restaurants may follow in coming years, said Guo Geping, chair of the ChinaChain Store& Franchise Association (CCFA).
Last June, McDonald's announced it would open drive-through restaurants at selectedSinopecservice stations.
KFC drive-through restaurants, located inside B&Q stores or around parking areas, will be different from other drive-throughs in having a 100-meter-long track tailored for automobiles to wait in a queue. Drivers will be able to get what they want in few minutes without getting out of their cars.
"KFC is seeing drive-throughs as a major way to expand local business," said Sam Su, president of Yum! Brands Inc China Division.
KFC drive-throughs should not be new to Chinese customers. In 2002 and 2005, KFC set up two inBeijingand Shanghai.
"Business is going well," said Su, adding it costs more to set up a drive-through but the profits are enticing. "The partnership (with B&Q) is a perfect example, and we will try to have more partnerships of this kind. The 100 restaurants will not only be located in B&Q branches, but also at other chain stores."
Since its first store opened in Shanghai in 1999, B&Q has opened 58 stores in China, and will have 100 by 2010, said Mariusz Gliwinski, president of B&Q China.