Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Michael A. Raynor at the opening ceremony of Pizza Hut

Michael Raynor 
U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia
at the Opening Ceremony of Pizza Hut
U.S. Embassy, Addis Ababa
April 10, 2018

(As prepared for delivery)

It’s a great pleasure for me to be here today, to help celebrate this latest milestone in the ever-strengthening commercial ties between the United States and Ethiopia.

I’d like to extend my sincerest congratulations to Belayab Foods and Franchises, and to Pizza Hut, for bringing such a well-known and much-loved American brand to Ethiopia.

As many of you know, in many cities around the United States including Washington, DC, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, there are scores of restaurants serving Ethiopian traditional food, not to mention Ethiopian coffee.

From thousands of miles away, Americans who visit these restaurants can get a taste of Ethiopia’s cuisine and culture, and the many Ethiopians who are living in the United States can get a taste of home.

Today, we mark the arrival in Ethiopia of Pizza Hut, an iconic American brand, which will offer Ethiopian families, American families, and Addis Ababa’s cosmopolitan population the opportunity to enjoy one of America’s most popular foods made by one of the most widely-recognized restaurants in the world.

As a franchise of the U.S. parent company, Pizza Hut in Ethiopia will give all of us the chance to experience the Pizza Hut menu prepared with the same ingredients, and with the same methods and best practices, that have made the brand so successful in the United States and throughout the world.

And this is where the presence of American companies in Ethiopia can bring benefits beyond new products and services, even beyond tasty pizza.

As the Ethiopian economy grows, so too will the demand for high quality and affordable foods.

International franchises like Pizza Hut, which provides entrepreneurs, servers, and managers with experience with an internationally successful business format, can play an important role in meeting this demand.

Pizza Hut’s experience with supply chain management brings significant benefits for food quality and safety that can also set positive examples for the broader business community.

And the growing presence of Pizza Hut and other brand-name companies in Ethiopia signals to other U.S. and international investors that Ethiopia offers compelling business opportunities.

We hope that increasing U.S. and international interest in Ethiopia will serve as a catalyst for further progress in strengthening Ethiopia’s business and investment climates, including protection of trademarks like those of the world-renowned company we’re welcoming to Ethiopia today.

Today is an exciting beginning to what I know will be a long and successful presence of Pizza Hut in Ethiopia.

My U.S. Embassy colleagues join me in wishing Pizza Hut and Belayab Foods the greatest of success, and we hope that their success will be a catalyst for even more U.S. and international business activity in Ethiopia.

The presence of Pizza Hut in Ethiopia is an exciting addition to the country’s culinary scene, as well as an important step toward supporting a vibrant and diverse private sector that will be critical to strengthening the country’s economic growth and job creation.

The United States remains a steadfast partner to Ethiopia in achieving these goals.

Once again, my sincerest thanks and congratulations to Belayab Foods and Pizza Hut on this important day.

I wish them all the best, and look forward to being one of their many customers in the days ahead.

Thank you.