Burger King to Open First West Africa Restaurant in Abidjan

Burger King will open its first restaurant in West Africa this month in Ivory Coast, a country more famous for slow-cooked chicken than fast consumption of beef patties.

Air France-KLM’s in-flight caterer, Servair, will operate the 90 square-meter (969-square-foot) restaurant in the mall where Carrefour SA will open its first store in sub-Saharan Africa, Servair said in a statement on Tuesday. The shopping center, known as PlaYce and operated by CFAO SA, is due to open this month in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital.

Through its Ivory Coast restaurant, Burger King is expanding its operations in sub-Saharan Africa, where it currently operates only in South Africa. The burger chain is also targeting a fast-growing economy that’s expanded an average 9 percent annually in the past three years following a decade of political crisis. The country has attracted foreign investors such as the Dutch brewer Heineken NV and Groupe Fnac SA, the French retailer. Ivory Coast is the world’s biggest cocoa producer.

Servair, the world’s third-largest in-flight caterer, said that operating Abidjan’s Burger King is part of an “international development strategy” to expand beyond airports. The company aims to open more Burger King restaurants in West Africa in the next few years, Samuel Coulon, a spokesman for Servair, said by phone.

Burger King is owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc., whose investors include billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Ackman.

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