A growing number of fast-food chains are expanding their reach in Asia and across the Middle West in a bid to expand their footprint in emerging markets and fill growing demand for chicken sandwiches and hamburgers in developing countries.
Chick-fil-A, which opened its first Asia-Pacific outlet in Singapore last week, said Monday it would expand distribution to more than 1,000 countries by the end of this year and expand distribution beyond the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian regions to more locations.
It said it plans to open additional outlets in Brazil and Colombia, India, Vietnam, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates in the coming months.
“We are proud to be able to deliver our products to customers in places where they have limited access to healthy, affordable food,” said Paul Sousa, Chickfil-A’s senior vice president of marketing and business development.
The chain has grown rapidly in recent years, opening more than 10,000 stores worldwide, making it one of the fastest-growing fast-casual chains.
In 2017, the company reported a $3.6 billion operating loss, which included a $5.2 billion charge for its foreign exchange transactions.
Chick-fil-A’s Asia Pacific footprint covers China, India and Indonesia.
The company also announced a $1 billion investment to build a new facility in Malaysia that will provide workers and support staff at the company’s franchisees and restaurants.
It also announced plans to create a joint venture in India that will work with the Indian government to launch chicken-centric startups.