Tuesday, March 11, 2008

McDonalds Playing Chicken with KFC

McDonald's is going to take on KFC at their own game and the head of Restaurant Brands Ltd [RBD.NZX] replies to the war cry of MD of McDonald's Mark Hawthorne:

Chief operating officer Rod de Vries said sales had increased 9 per cent in the past year - an outstanding result in a highly competitive market. "It is therefore no great surprise that our competitors will try for the same success in our market and challenge our menu offering.

"However, we are confident that KFC will continue to hold the recipe for success in our industry and that consumers will continue to love the secret blend of 11 herbs & spices that Colonel Sanders perfected in 1939.

A very logical and understandable reply from the head of Restaurant Brands, in reply to news out today that McDonald's New Zealand is going head to head with KFC to try and knock the Colonel of his lonely perch.

KFC have to respond to the superior marketing and
service levels of McDonald's to keep their chicken market

As Warren Buffett says, he looks for companies with a "moat", that is, a unique product or company that has high barriers to entry and therefore stable and sustainable cash flows. KFC is certainly that. Nobody else has ever managed to get the 11 secret herbs and spices down pat and nor are they likely to and that is the main advantage that KFC has.

The uniqueness of their taste is their secret to their 69 year old history.

Unfortunately for KFC in New Zealand we have heard this all before from Restaurant Brands, "we will take competition seriously" blah, blah. Witness the Pizza Hut meltdown after competition has decimated that brand. I still think RBD management underestimate their rivals and over rely on the strength of the KFC product when going head to head.

McDonald's Vs RBD, I will pick Maccas every time, because management there are smart and know all about service, imagine what they would do at KFC.


KFC's chicken dominance is going to be severely tested by the McDonald's
competition but KFC have a unique product that loyal customers love.

McDonald's are going for an all out assault on KFC's dominance and are going for quality and range in their chicken offerings. Breast meat and real chicken will be the order of the day. They will take market share off KFC, that is clear. How much market share is up to how RBD management react to the competition.

RBD have a great product but where Maccas will beat them is at service and marketing and that is half the battle.

In the USA and Australia this battle has been fought and lost by KFC and the Big Mac has intentions to be no1 here within 3 years, so history could be repeated here.

The McDonald's saturation advertising has already started. It will be interesting to see what the RBD response will be.

Keep up to date with this development at the Share Investor Blog .

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