N.B. company plans to re-establish KFC in St. John’s

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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FMI accelerating plans, building franchise locations outside city

A New Brunswick company has plans to bring KFC back to the province.<br />— Telegram file photo

The restaurant group working to fill the KFC void outside the St. John’s area says it wants to do the same within the city.

After The Telegram reported this week that Mary Brown’s had bought two St. John’s KFC outlets and was considering purchasing the remaining five, the New Brunswick-based Franchise Management Inc. said it hopes to open six locations next year.

Dwight Fraser, the company’s president, said Tuesday it opened a KFC in Clarenville last week — one of the locations lost when multiple-franchise owner Renee Marquis elected not to renew her 10 franchise leases but instead open a chain of family restaurants called Oppy’s Diner. Marquis’s decision meant the only KFCs in the province as of October were the seven in St. John’s and a small outlet in Happy Valley- Goose Bay, but Fraser said FMI is accelerating plans to rebuild KFC’s presence in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Everything is rolling along on schedule,” he said. “We opened in Clarenville last Saturday, and we’re very, very happy with how that’s turned out.” FMI expects to open KFCs in Corner Brook in the second week of January, in Lewisporte, Deer Lake and Carbonear in the third week of January, in Marystown the first week of February, and in Grand Falls-Windsor and Gander in mid- to late February. “These are just targets, but we’re far enough along in construction that we’re hoping to hit those dates.”

For St. John’s, the news that Chelsea Food Services’ lease agreements with KFC — which is owned by Yum Brands — wouldn’t be renewed meant an opportunity for FMI to get a foot in St. John’s as well, said Fraser.

“Our first goal was to strike a deal with the landlord and lease those (existing) locations, but that didn’t work out, and now we’re looking for new sites. So any landlords out there that have space that would be suitable, we’d certainly like to talk to them,” he said, adding the company already has a couple of sites in mind.

The company will also be looking to hire — and it may wind up competing for staff with Mary Brown’s, which told the Telegram it would hire as many former KFC employees as it could.

“Hopefully the existing staff will migrate back to us once the stores are open,” he said. “You hate to see people out of this work this time of year. We hope they do come back.”

Despite Mary Brown’s ambitious expansion plans — by early next year the St. John’s-born chicken franchise will have about 100 locations across the country — Fraser said he’s not worried about market saturation.

“The Colonel’s had a tremendous run in Newfoundland. People really like the product,” he said. “We have over 200 stores in the Yum system, and Newfoundland is probably the most exciting market for us because of the sales they’ve been doing. We’re disappointed that we have any down time at all, but from what’s happened in Clarenville, obviously people will come flocking back, so we’re hoping that that’ll be the case in all the locations as well.”

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com

 Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: FMI, The Telegram, Chelsea Food Services Yum Brands

Geographic location: Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, Happy Valley Goose Bay Corner Brook Lewisporte Carbonear Marystown Grand Falls-Windsor Gander

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Recent comments

  • DERRICK WILSON
    May 29, 2013 - 15:30

    i wouldn't open kfc, its about to go under. a guy in saskatoon figured out col. sanders recipe for gravy and he says he'll solve the chicken recipe also.. how do i know this??? because i am the guy... and soon anyone can make the gravy....by 2015 kfc will be sold or shut down...i am so close to chicken recipe its frustrating.. nobody believes me but when i get a shot to prove it to the world you'll see me...

  • Dawn Wride
    December 17, 2012 - 05:36

    Well said David! Just visit the food court at the Avalon Mall and witness the vast number of teens and young adults who are significantly overweight, but all with a tray piled high with some sort of fast food or another. You certainly don't witness the obesity in such high numbers elsewhere in Canada. Young newfoundlanders are digging their graves with their teeth!

  • david
    December 14, 2012 - 11:04

    If in 20 years every last dime of the Hibernai financial legacy was turned into profit for mainland-based fast food franchises, and morbidly obese Newfoundlanders were all now sitting in the outpatients dept., I believe eveeryone here would look back on the whole experience with great nostalgia and pride. Now THAT'S world-class stupid.

  • Jack
    December 13, 2012 - 10:06

    Will, don't just bring a Taco Bell, but also some Pizza Hut locations to Newfoundland and Labrador, especially outside the Greater St. John's area. Some great locations for Pizza Hut include Stephenville, Corner Brook, Deer Lake, St. Anthony, Lourdes de Blanc Sablon, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, L'Anse Au Loop, Grand Falls-Windsor, Gander, Clarenville, and Bay Roberts. Having more fast food restaurants in Lourdes de Blanc Sablon will be an excellent idea as Quebec's Lower North Shore area will experience significant economic growth due to Plan Nord, which includes a road linking Natashquan to Blanc Sablon, need for greater restaurant choices, and increased tourism. Its also a great way to compete with Quebec's only Pizza Delight.

  • Blair Brookfield
    December 12, 2012 - 21:47

    Hey Brett, Would you consider someone who opens a little mom and pop shop selling imported products an entrepreneur?

    • Brett
      December 13, 2012 - 08:13

      Hi Blair, If the business model is the same as other existing stores, then no. Products from the moon (different method for acquisition channels), maybe, another shop selling slightly different stuff from China, no. But the purpose of a business is to make money. The purpose of an entrepreneur is to innovate. The two are not mutually exclusive, but neither are they mutually inclusive. I don't see anything wrong with seeing a market opportunity and taking advantage, but to me that is not entrepreneurship. If you use the type of model you suggest, tell me what your protections would be in competing with others who try to copy your model and enter the same market space after you? What is your competitive advantage? Entrepreneurial endeavors tend to have intrinsic advantages to maintaining a competitive edge. Being a business owner is not a bad thing, I am one, but I am hard pressed to say that any of the things I am doing are truly entrepreneurial.

  • Luke Coombs
    December 12, 2012 - 16:32

    Forgot KFC that is old news. We need something we have never had before. This is a perfect scenerio to bring in a Taco Bell. Newfoundland and PEI are the only provinces that currently dont have one. Trust me if you bring a Taco Bell people will come

  • WILL
    December 12, 2012 - 11:00

    Hopefully this company will bring Taco Bell to Newfoundland. Maybe a few KFC/Taco Bell hybrid locations as seen elsewhere in Canada and the US.

  • david
    December 12, 2012 - 08:22

    So even though the former KFC franchise owner tried despartely to spin that, after decades of deep-fried profits, she had an 'epiphany' of health consequences and now dreams of Newfoundland eating better food, the truth is that the market still wants its 'tucky fried. KFC was one of the paltry few businesses, as bland and uninteresting as chain fast food joints are, with even a smidgeon of Newfoundland ownership whatsoever.....and now, another non-Newfoundland entrepreneur is more than happy to sweep into town, scoop up a chunk of the Hibernia lootbag, and lug it off to New Brunswick. Another Newfie business success story. Do they get an ACOA grant, too?

    • Brett
      December 12, 2012 - 12:24

      Investor, or owner, not entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs aren't people who go out and buy a job. They bring something new to the market (business process/product etc), they do not pay to be hired by a company (buying a job is essentially what franchise ownership is).

    • david
      December 12, 2012 - 14:20

      You are mostly correct, Brett....but two points: 1) most franchises cost a LOT of money, and some do fail. So if you think it's "buying oneself a guaranteed income", which most people certainly do, I suggest you don't understand the exorbitant cost or the risk....which most people don't. 2) It's all relative. In Newfoundland, sadly, the closest we have to an "entrepreneur class" are franchisees....most people don't even aspire to that. Why even on this message thread there is a complainrt that the NB company isn't bringing in more YUM fast food franchises...seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

    • Brett
      December 12, 2012 - 15:45

      1. 500k for a tim horton's, 1.5M for a McD's. I believe the McD's figure might be a little old. I believe that Smokes Poutinerie ran about 250-300k. You're buying yourself a job. You get a position in the company with an equity stake essentially (in essentially a subsidiary of the company). You can still lose the job, or the company can be unsuccessful in its expansion leaving you with bubkis. I understand that. Lots of people also don't understand how much capital they need outside of purchasing the licenses to actually run the business. If you're not properly capitalized you're playing with the deck stacked wildly against you. But none of that shows whether you are an entrepreneur or not. I just see the difference between being a risk taker, a business person and an entrepreneur. I am self employed and am painfully (trust me - past history has made painfully a proper adjective) aware of the value of capital, the risks of starting your own business and the difference between being an entrepreneur and a business owner running an owner operator model (which is prevalent in the province).

  • Jack
    December 12, 2012 - 07:28

    While I applaud Franchise Management Inc. for saving the KFC franchises across Newfoundland and Labrador, I'm disappointed that they won't bring other YUM! Brands family restaurants to this province like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut (especially outside St. John's). I wouldn't mind seeing a Taco Bell or Pizza Hut in the Corner Brook area. Secondly, I hope Franchise Management will bring KFC Franchises to Port Aux Basques, Stephenville, Burgeo, Pasadena, St. Anthony, Baie Verte, Lourdes de Blanc Sablon, and L'anse Au Loop to compete with Mary Brown's, Pizza Delight, or Chester Fried Chicken. With Northern Newfoundland, Quebec's Lower North Shore, and Labrador areas expecting major economic growth due to Muskrat Falls and Plan Nord (Quebec), this is an excellent opportunity to expand KFC.