Domino’s Pizza Will Come To Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- The burgeoning pizza business in Ukraine is bracing for a major shakeup. U.S.-based Domino’s Pizza, the world’s leading pizza delivery company, announced this week that it has inked franchise agreements to spread its business into Ukraine.

A Domino's Pizza franchise owner displays his super supreme pizza. The American-based pizza deliverly giant announced that it is entering the Ukrainian market soon, a move that will shake up competition in the fast-food delivery business in Kyiv. The company, has more than 9,000 pizza bakeries in 60 countries across the world, and had some $5.6 billion in sales last year.

News that Domino’s is coming to Ukraine was made public by Romanian officials representing the pizza group, upon their launching of a franchise in that country.

Plans to expand to other European countries were also unveiled, though no details were provided on who acquired the franchising rights to build the Domino’s chain in Ukraine.

Informed sources said the likely partner bringing Domino’s to Ukraine is Kiev-Donbass, a diversified Kyiv-based business holding co-owned by brothers Vyacheslav and Oleksander Konstantinovsky and partners.

Representatives of the group declined to immediately confirm involvement, but they have shown that they know how to feed the mouths of affluent and middle-class Ukrainians.

The group operates Carte Blanche, a chain of upscale restaurants and venues that includes the popular Concorde and Marokana restaurants. This group of investors is also behind Puzata Khata, a chain of affordable cafeteria food that has swiftly spread across Ukraine in recent years.

So far, the globally dominant McDonald’s is the only fast food chain that has established a strong presence in Ukraine. But its competitors are on the way.

Konstantin Petrov, a domestic businessman, recently announced plans to bring the Dunkin Donuts chain to Ukraine and Russia. Reports suggest that Wendy’s is eyeing Russia, and could make a side step into Ukraine.

If domestic pizza businesses in Ukraine are nervous about the arrival of Domino’s and other huge competitors, they aren’t showing it publicly. Surprisingly, some said they have never even heard of Domino’s. “I have never heard of this company,” said a manager at Imperia Pizza.

Canadian-born Myron Spolsky, founder of Ukraine’s first pizza restaurant, Kyiv-based Vesuvio Pizza, said: “I think it’s a good thing for the market. We tend to get lazy in how we do things. Dominos will bring innovation and serious competition to the marketplace.”

But Serhiy Samoilenko, administrator of the Pizza Khata chain, said with the market still wide open, he does not expect “competition wars” to break out.

“There is no competition yet on the Ukrainian market in a classic sense,” added Halyna Kascheyeva, marketing director at FFS, a domestically owned fast-food group which manages the Chelentano pizza, Kartoplyana Khata (Potato House) and Yapi sushi fast food chains.

“For now, we are all just neighbors in the market,” she added.

But with more than 9,000 pizza bakeries in more than 60 countries across the world, and some $5.6 billion in sales last year, insiders said Domino’s – with its domestic partners – has the muscle to capture a big share of the Ukrainian pie.

Source: Kyiv Post