KFC embarks on expansion drive

LONDON - KFC is to create around 9,000 jobs and 200 new restaurants, as the fast food sector enjoys boom times amid the economic downturn.

The downturn has been kind to the sector with Subway, Domino's and McDonald's all recently announcing expansion plans and strong results.

But KFC's news has coincided with the UK's manufacturing sector taking another hit yesterday as BMW cut 850 jobs at its Mini plant in Oxford.

The contrasting fortunes of manufacturing and fast food sectors have prompted fears that skilled positions being replaced with unskilled jobs. It is expected that the majority of the KFC jobs will be for chefs and cashiers who will be paid the minimum wage.

KFC is investing around £150m in the expansion drive with most of the new stores opening in northern England and south Wales. It already employs 20,000 people in 760 outlets, and its advertising account is with BBH.

The chain enjoyed an 14% rise in sales last year while a new drive-through restaurant broke the weekly turnover record taking £100,000.

Other fast food chains planning to expand include Subway, which is opening 600 news stores in the UK and Ireland, creating 7,000 jobs. While both Domino's and McDonald's performed well last year with sales rises of 10% and 7.5% (Europe) respectively.