As Chicken Republic launches its 100th store, its parent company, Food Concepts Plc now owns a total of 124 retail outlets in West Africa. Its PieXpress brand which began operations in 2019, to cater to mobile consumers through its unique baked goods offering is quickly expanding at its current capacity of 24 shops around the country.
“As a proudly Nigerian company, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles must be in every aspect of our DNA”, says David Butler, Chief Executive Officer, Food Concepts Plc. David adds, “Our motto is: be happy, but never content! And, it is this ongoing quest for excellence that has led us to become the largest QSR chain in Nigeria today”. He notes that Chicken Republic has the largest footprint and the greatest number of restaurants in the country and that the company will continue with its rapid expansion into the future.
The company’s “Taste More” philosophy encourages a bold spirit of adventure and sets out to challenge the status quo by providing its customers with tasty, everyday affordable value meals, in a clean, cool ambiance, that offers great customer service. In celebrating this milestone, Chicken Republic invites its customers to experience more as they interact with the brand and enjoy its Soulfully Spiced Chicken meals, all of which are flavored to perfection with a unique blend of authentic West African herbs and spices.
David shares that times have not always been easy for Chicken Republic and that the business has learned many lessons along the way. He says, “we have experienced the costs and ramifications of not doing things the right way but we have also enjoyed the benefits of getting things right consistently”. Above all, he believes in the importance of good Corporate Governance stating that “Good Governance is not a person, a process or a division. It is also not his, her or their responsibility. Good Governance is culture. It requires a mindset change to doing the right things even in the toughest times and situations”.
Chicken Republic is a committed supporter of Nigerian production. It buys all its products, produce, poultry, and raw materials through Nigerian companies and does not import anything itself. Thus, every Naira the business spends goes into the local economy in one way or another, whether it is through job creation, property rentals, local or federal taxes. The business is also committed to supporting grassroots entrepreneurs from whom it purchases fresh produce for its central kitchens and 100 restaurants.
David says, “Our philosophy is ‘People Capability Always. We pride ourselves on being an equal opportunity employer, with a strong focus on creating opportunities for women and young adults”. He adds that Food Concepts is one of the most advanced gender equality businesses of its size, stating that its Executive Team and company, has over 52%, female employees.
David adds that Food Concepts currently employs over 3500 people directly and indirectly by building new restaurants, revamping existing ones, and developing new products to cater to the needs of its consumers. All of these activities require resources, particularly local home-grown talent that will continue to actively participate in the local economy and benefit local communities.
The business, with its Chicken Republic and PieXpress brands, has a bold strategy to open 500 stores by the end of 2023 and is on track to meet this milestone. This strategy will see it advance employment capacity to over 8000 people in Nigeria.
David believes that the future looks bright for Chicken Republic. He concludes that opening 100 restaurants in Nigeria is a massive accomplishment. One that could not have come to fruition without the support of the company’s valued customers, nor without the skill, passion, and commitment of every member of the team, its shareholders, partners, and suppliers. David says, “Today is a day to rejoice, to feel proud and to spread the love!”