Product details

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Prize winner
Subject category: Marketing
Authors: Chen Lin; Chi Zhang
Published by: China Europe International Business School
Originally published in: 2020
Version: 2020-06-30
Length: 19 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

Since entering China in 1987 with its first restaurant in Beijing, KFC has been a great success and has become the largest quick-service restaurant (QSR) in the country. In 2015, Joey Wat was named Chief Executive Officer of KFC China. In the following year, Yum China (NYSE: YUMC) spun off from Yum! Brands and became an independent, publicly traded company. To expand KFC China's business one step further, Joey Wat had to navigate through a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive landscape. With China's rising economy and personal income levels, many more fast-food chains and snack choices entered the market and competition intensified. Moreover, over the years consumers were increasingly attracted to not only healthy diets, but also an enjoyable consumption experience. As Gen Z customers become the largest consumer base, they have shifted their focus more to value, personalized experience, and a sense of engagement in their food purchases, beyond just affordability and speed. For KFC, other issues were added to the challenge too: a high employee turnover rate and rising rent and labor costs. With highly standardized products and a stable ticket average, how should KFC move forward amid the new and challenging dynamics to achieve a breakthrough? KFC China had started its digital ecosystem early and built up powerful digital capabilities. Under Joey Wat's leadership, KFC China made various attempts to drive productivity, reduce costs, and constantly improve the customer experience. How did digitalization help with these accomplishments? How did KFC China carry out the digitalization? Would digitalization continue to benefit the business in the future?

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2016.

Geographical setting

Region:
Asia
Country:
China

Featured company

Yum China-KFC

About

Abstract

Since entering China in 1987 with its first restaurant in Beijing, KFC has been a great success and has become the largest quick-service restaurant (QSR) in the country. In 2015, Joey Wat was named Chief Executive Officer of KFC China. In the following year, Yum China (NYSE: YUMC) spun off from Yum! Brands and became an independent, publicly traded company. To expand KFC China's business one step further, Joey Wat had to navigate through a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive landscape. With China's rising economy and personal income levels, many more fast-food chains and snack choices entered the market and competition intensified. Moreover, over the years consumers were increasingly attracted to not only healthy diets, but also an enjoyable consumption experience. As Gen Z customers become the largest consumer base, they have shifted their focus more to value, personalized experience, and a sense of engagement in their food purchases, beyond just affordability and speed. For KFC, other issues were added to the challenge too: a high employee turnover rate and rising rent and labor costs. With highly standardized products and a stable ticket average, how should KFC move forward amid the new and challenging dynamics to achieve a breakthrough? KFC China had started its digital ecosystem early and built up powerful digital capabilities. Under Joey Wat's leadership, KFC China made various attempts to drive productivity, reduce costs, and constantly improve the customer experience. How did digitalization help with these accomplishments? How did KFC China carry out the digitalization? Would digitalization continue to benefit the business in the future?

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2016.

Geographical setting

Region:
Asia
Country:
China

Featured company

Yum China-KFC

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