Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Pizza Hut parent looks offshore


Priszm Income Fund topped half a billion dollars in
sales last year at its Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell restaurants but is
worried about lean results in Ontario and labour shortages in the West,
where it aims to import foreign workers.

Priszm Income Fund topped half a billion dollars in sales last year at its Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell restaurants but is worried about lean results in Ontario and labour shortages in the West, where it aims to import foreign workers.

Priszm is feasting in Quebec, where same-store sales were up 8.1 per cent for the year and 9.7 per cent in the fourth quarter. But sales at Ontario outlets open a year or more increased by just 0.1 per cent in 2006, though this improved to 0.9 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Priszm executives said last month they are working to revive Ontario growth through promotions and new products, and expect sales nationwide to be boosted by the introduction of trans-fat-free canola cooking oil, which began in the fourth quarter.

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National same-store sales growth was 2.7 per cent in 2007.

Atlantic Canada showed 0.7 per cent growth, “reflecting the negative impact of the local economy in several areas.”

“Similar to the successful turnaround plan initiated in Quebec in 2005, we are implementing strategic initiatives to address the lagging sales in Ontario,” O’Neill said.

In Western Canada, where same-store sales were up by 3.9 three per cent for the year, the tight labour market has caused “staffing difficulties” for the entire quick-service-restaurant sector.

“Under a federally sponsored program, we have applied to bring in foreign workers to support Priszm’s operations in both B.C. and Alberta. We’ve hired an immigration specialist to assist us in the application process and hope to resolve this employment issue in the next couple of months.”