KFC is expected to open its first restaurant in Tibet next year, as part of a regional push that will see it expand in China and shake off food scares and marketing blunders that have severely dented sales in that country.
A franchisee will open the KFC restaurant in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, offering its American-style fried chicken in the first half of 2016, parent company Yum Brands Inc said in a statement.
KFC pulled its plans to set up shop in Tibet more than a decade ago, saying in 2004 it was not “economically feasible” to enter the region. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader and a staunch vegetarian, opposed Yum’s plans at the time.
As China’s economy stutters, Yum’s 6,900 China restaurants face the challenge of luring diners who increasingly are looking for healthier, local options and going online to hunt for deals.