KFC Opens First Branch in Tibet


Published Date : Mar 16, 2016

Tibet's ancient capital can finally taste American-styled fried chicken. According to the Chinese media, KFC has opened its first branch in Lhasa on Tuesday. Also, this is the first time for any major Western fast food chain to start its business in Tibet. The KFC branch, located in the Sheli Shidai shopping center in the ancient capital city features the Potala Palace as wall art. The palace was the historical residence of Dalai Lama till 1959. On Chinese social media, photos of the meals served, long queues as well as the restaurant’s interiors have been posted. Consumers are already posting positive reviews about KFC’s Tibetan presence.

China’s Love for Fast Foods

In 2004, KFC’s parent company Yum! Brands had cancelled its plans to open branches across Taiwan due to economic reasons. At that time, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader in Tibet who supports vegetarianism, had condemned KFC’s plan. In 1987, Yum Brands forayed into the Chinese market and started its expansion. The company also owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, and has lately registered declining sales owing to scandals in the last couple of years regarding safety and quality of food served at KFC outlets across China. The fast food giant has over 5,000 KFC outlets and around 1,600 Pizza Hut outlets in China.

In the mainland China, the fast food retailers such as KFC and McDonald’s Corp have emerged as the first group of business houses to use Apple Pay, the smartphone-based payment system. KFC will use Apple Pay across its 258 stores in Beijing alone. Apple Pay has enhanced the eating experience of customers, with more convenience at checkout counters.