Global QSR franchise Southern Fried Chicken has opened its first store in Kyrgyzstan following the appointment of a master franchisor earlier this year. The move reflects the company’s focus on Eastern Europe as fertile ground for continued growth, as its Russian franchisee opens a fortieth SFC restaurant, with plans to open a further ten during 2016.
According to President of FFS Brands Chris Gibson, the opening of Southern Fried Chicken in Bishkek represents the first franchised food service brand to enter Kyrgyzstan.
“Bishkek is a vibrant city and a readymade market with disposable income for Quick Service Food. The launch event was packed, the new master franchisor is highly proactive and we’re fully confident that the venture will be a success – we’re already looking for sites two and three for early expansion next year,” he said.
“This isn’t the only territory where getting into a region early has proved to be a winning formula for companies like Fast Food Systems. Indeed when the ‘big brands’ only saw Perm in Russia as a dot on a big map back in 1999, we were able to provide a far lower entry level for potential investors in a Southern Fried Chicken franchise; 15 years later we have over 40 Southern Fried Chicken sites across the region, so we’ve proved what can be achieved. If the system is transferrable and import costs are acceptable – as ours are – then transferring that knowledge to new local franchisees can mean growth in territories and entry into a market right from the beginning.”
Currently, Southern Fried Chicken are seeking more investors for master franchises in Moscow and other centres of dense population and high consumption of quick service restaurant food.
“We’re targeting proven territories too, providing we believe there’s still plenty of potential for profit and long-term growth – hence our interest in Moscow, St.Petersburg and other centres across the region.”
National property and construction consultancy Wakemans will complete a £2.6 million warehouse & distribution project at Newhouse Farm Industrial Estate, Chepstow for REID Lifting at the end of this month.
Wakemans acted as Employer’s Agent, Quantity Surveyors and BREEAM advisors on the development that provides REID with a larger facility and headquarters of 32,500 sq.ft alongside a second speculative building.
Wakemans director James Shelley commented, “The project has delivered much needed extra space to allow this award winning company to make improvements in their operations, and increase efficiency and productivity.”
Managing director at REID Nick Battersby said: “We are delighted with the new facilities that will allow us to continue with our growth plans, create skilled jobs, bring more business to the local supply chain and continue to expand our exports markets.”
REID Lifting designs and sells a range of lightweight portable gantry and davit cranes, used by such diverse organisations as Thames Water, the Vatican, Rolls Royce and London Underground. Wakemans also completed a new warehouse facility for foodservice distributor 3663 on the same site at the end of last year.
The skills shortage in the construction industry has reached an all-time high and poses the biggest threat to a recovery in the sector, warns national property and construction consultants Wakemans.
According to Wakemans director Adrian Aston, significant labour shortages are now being experienced across both trade and professional posts, causing delays to construction projects and hampering growth.
The latest RICS construction market survey supports this view as a record high average of 53% of contributors reported difficulties in sourcing labour. For bricklayers and quantity surveyors the figures are even higher with 71% and 64% of respondents noticing shortages in these fields. This quarter 3 survey found that skills shortages have reached their highest level since their surveys began in 1998.
Adrian says, “Finding professional staff with appropriate experience at all levels has become almost impossible. We had large numbers leaving the professions during the recession so there is a lack of experienced people and the construction industry has always had an issue attracting new young people, so there are never enough young people coming into the profession.
“It is easy to lay this at the government’s door but as an industry we need to play our part. The poor image of construction remains a key factor and we can all do something to rectify this. CITB data shows that the overall appeal of the construction industry as a career option for young people is low, scoring 4.2 out of 10 among 14 to 19 year olds. We need to promote the benefits of a career in construction more and find some inspirational role models to attract the right young people into the profession.
“There is now an urgent issue if we are to have an adequate workforce to service growth over the next 3-5 years.”