UK to enjoy Turkish pizza from May

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 05.04.2017 00:53

The wholly Turkish brand Pizzabulls will open its first overseas branch in London soon. With a total of 43 branches in Turkey, Pizzabulls CEO Cavit Can Kırbeyi said, "It's time to open up abroad. We will introduce Turkish pizza to the world's biggest pizza consumer, Britain." The pizza brand continues to grow within Turkey as it eyes overseas destinations this year. The company will open its first international branch in South London in May. While 11 whole pizzas annually are consumed per person in the U.K., the biggest pizza consumer in the world, this figure stands at only three in Turkey. Britain is almost four times bigger than the Turkish market with Kırbeyi noting that pizza consumption there is growing by 5 percent each year, and saying that joining this market will be a good experience for the brand.

"We have prepared a variety of new pizzas for the tastes of British consumers. We will operate in Britain as a 100 percent Turkish brand. We will again invest the money we have earned abroad in Turkey," Kırbeyi said, adding that their aim is to take their Turkish pizza to the world. Pointing out that Britain will be followed by major markets such as the U.S., China and Russia, Kırbeyi noted that the experience they gain in the U.K. will prepare them for those markets.

People from almost every income and age group love pizza, but still 60 percent of the Turkish population has never eaten pizza. According to Kırbeyi, this percentage is an important target market. Noting that Pizzabulls has shown stable growth since its establishment in 2006, Kırbeyi added that they are still aiming to reach that 60-percent segment. Forty-one of the branches of Pizzabulls, which uses the franchise model, are owned by investors. The brand is predominantly located in Istanbul but also has branches in Karabük, Samsun and Eskişehir, along with Rize and Trabzon, which welcomed the chain last year. The company plans to open 27 Pizzabulls branches in 2017, in Kayseri, Malatya, Konya, Bursa, Ankara, Antalya, Adapazarı and İzmit. Stating that they will award franchises in all these provinces, Kırbeyi highlighted that the investment cost is $120,000 (TL 437,802) plus value-added tax, and that investors can expect a return in two years. Having rebuilt the company's infrastructure with plans for growth, Kırbeyi invested $1 million two years ago. Now Pizzabulls is expected to have a total of 100 branches in 2018.

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