RESTAURANTS of Jamaica Limited (ROJ), the company that operates the KFC and Pizza Hut franchises, has widened its delivery network, with the company noting that delivery services through its aggregator partner, KFC have expanded in the past year.
Tina Matalon, market manager at ROJ, told the Jamaica Observer that the push forms part the franchisees’ efforts to support the need and demand due to the continued COVID-19 restrictions.
“We have expanded delivery to nine locations in Kingston and St Catherine with our aggregator partner. We also service other ENDS-approved delivery providers in parishes currently not covered by our aggregator partner,” she said, explaining why satellite communities in Montego Bay and other communities outside of Kingston can now get Pizza and KFC delivered to their homes.
Battling falling revenues as operating hours remain restricted, the company has also expanded into WhatsApp ordering and messenger marketing in an effort to offer easier and convenient access to the brand, said Matalon.
“We have completed a successful pilot in Portmore and will continue to expand into KMA [Kingston Metropolitan Area] and the Montego Bay region by Oct 2021.”
With limited operating channels, Matalon said the company sees a need to expand the delivery channel to aid in providing additional access and added convenience in servicing the public.
To complement the heightened logistical challenges, the company has made an investment in the hardware and software required for integration and execution in point-of-sale systems and restaurant operations.
Matalon noted, “We are also continuously working with our aggregator partner to upgrade the service to provide a faster and more accurate solution to delivery.”
For KFC and Pizza Hut overall, she outlined, revenues have been significantly reduced throughout all channels given the limitations to operations in the prolonged pandemic.
Delivery, Matalon said, accounts for a small percentage of sales and although it continues to grow, is not a significant contributor. There was no revenue increase for the company in the first half of 2021.
She outlined, “This is due to tighter operating restrictions and significant cost increases, which resulted in lower performance from January – June 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 which only had the impact of COVID from March through June.
“We are hopeful that we will grow and that the economy will be able to safely open up and allow for us to serve our valued customers through all channels, in all restaurants across Jamaica,” the marketing manager said.
“Needless to say, increased operating hours, especially on weekends, will be critical for us to drive revenues for the remainder of the year and into 2022. We will, however, continue to adhere to the guidelines of our Government to achieve the right balance for our economy and the safety of our nation.”
Matalon commented, “We believe increased vaccinations is the safest solution to getting back to some normalcy. We also encourage our customers and all eligible Jamaicans to get vaccinated and continue to follow all the necessary health and safety protocols so that we can beat this virus.”