The opening of the first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Yangon last week brought with it the expected reactions.
Ex-pats moaned and groaned and raised their hands to the sky as if the world were about to end, while local residents lined up outside the branch on Bogyoke Aung San Road to get a taste of what had never been available before.
What most could agree on is the simple fact that the meals are relatively expensive. A small set costs around $2.25. Myanmar has proposed a daily minimum wage of about $3.25. That is not a lot of chicken for a day’s work.
But when Serge Pun, chairman of Yoma Strategic Holdings, which partnered with Yum! Brands to bring KFC to Myanmar, was recently asked by Eleven about the prices – which the paper claims are higher than the rest of the region – he did the equivalent of calling “SCOREBOARD” and pointed to those long lines.
“There are people who reckon the foods are pricey but there are also many others who said the prices are affordable,” he was quoted as saying in the news outlet’s transation. “You can see that by observing our customers. It has been opened for a week. The customers have had to line up for two to three hours to buy the foods [sic] every day. You can see it clearly whether the people welcome it or not.”
A KFC representative in the region said a survey had been conducted to establish the prices, but the company hasn’t released the data. To be fair, however, Eleven’s source for the pricing claim was an unnamed “business person with foreign experiences.”
If you haven’t seen our video on the opening of KFC, it should provide some context.
Photo / Aung Naing Soe