First KFC opens in Myanmar, fans wait for hours

“Now young people here can eat like young people in other countries,” 18-year-old Htet Ei said in an interview with Agence France-Presse after she patiently waited in line with her friends for the grand opening of the very first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in Myanmar.

Photo Credit: Bangkok Post

On Tuesday, June 30th, KFC became the first ever United States fast food chain to open in Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon.

Customers queued for hours just to have a taste of the ‘finger lickin’ good’ meals of the foreign brand. The KFC management assured that the products will have generous servings and will be offered at reasonable prices. For 3,500 kyats ($3.1), KFC lovers can enjoy two pieces of fried chicken and french fries.

For approximately half a century, the Southeast Asian nation was under military dictatorship that caused its isolation from the influence of external market.

So when the junta rule ended in 2011, reforms were made and US and other European sanctions were eased. Other Western brands that have made successful business presence in Myanmar are Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Chevrolet, and Ford.

KFC Head Micky Pant shared that the KFC launch is a realized dream for them as well, especially since the country is “poised for strong economic growth in the coming years”. After the 7.7% growth last year, there is an expected 8.3% growth in the economy for this year.

With 131,000 likes as of posting, the official KFC Myanmar Facebook page has been filled with photos related with the recent KFC opening.

Although the progress looks good, some firms still want to play it safe until the results of the elections at the latter half of this year come out. According to a Yahoo! report, analysts think that companies consider the political dynamics before making a final decision as to whether or not investing for the long haul is a good idea.