Burger King to open in South Africa

Burger King signs
Image caption Burger King says the time is now right to enter South Africa

Burger King has added South Africa to its menu, with the fast food chain planning to open its first restaurant in the country early next year.

The US company has granted Grand Parade Investments an exclusive agreement, which gives the South African group the franchise in the country.

GPI plans to open its first Burger King in Capetown, before opening more outlets.

Rival McDonald's has been operating in South Africa since the 1995.

Tough competition

GPI has made much of its money from casinos and slot machines, but it believes the Burger King franchise will prove profitable in Africa's largest economy.

"We are really looking forward to a healthy relationship with Burger King," said Hassen Adams, executive chairman of GPI.

Image caption McDonald's started operating in South Africa in 1995

"The introduction of Burger King to South Africa will bring much needed new jobs, careers for our people and help in reducing the high unemployment rate," he said.

Jose Cil, the president of Burger King's operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the company had studied the region closely with GPI and "now is the time to develop the brand in South Africa".

"We strongly believe the joint venture is uniquely positioned to succeed," he said.

Burger King will find McDonald's tough competition in South Africa. McDonald's opened its first restaurant in the country in November 1995 and now operates 165 outlets in nine of South Africa's provinces.

McDonald's says South Africa is one of the most successful markets in its international history.

It has invested more than 750m rand ($86m; £53.8m) into the South African economy and says it is committed to the success of the market.

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