"Wszystko Jest Możliwe!" is born with first Pizza Hut

In May 1993 Henry McGovern and Don Kendall jr move to Poland with the idea to be a part of the history being made in CEE from the collapse of the USSR.  On July 2nd they win the auction to buy Rynek 48 in Wroclaw, thus begins the company and the first WJM story.  With the idea to rent the ground floor to a restaurant they approach PepsiCo who says “no” but offer the franchise for Pizza Hut.  Donald Kendall sr offers to be a partner, an opportunity not to be missed so our entry into the restaurant business begins.  The company - American Retail Systems (ARS) is formed with four partners (Donald M. Kendall, Donald M. Kendall jr., Christian R. Eisenbeiss and Henry J. McGovern). The development of Pizza Hut and the reconstruction of Rynek 48 offers so many
challenges that our WJM belief is born!

WJM is proven and seeps deep into our culture when Rynek Pizza Hut does open on time on Nov. 9, 1993.  A huge success in Wroclaw leads to ARS obtaining the rights for Szczecin as well and the 2nd restaurant opens there in May 1994.

We learn a hard lesson from the failure of our second business, Xerox Business Centers.    

PepsiCo decides Poland is a strategic market in the world and begins rapid development of KFC & Pizza Hut.

Our first KFC

In November of 1995, we open our first KFC in Szczecin. We face an unending number of problems: electrical failures, leaky roofs, equipment breakdowns. But our biggest problem is a good one – trying to keep enough chicken in the restaurant to satisfy the huge numbers of customers pouring in the door. It was hard work, but our KFC business was off and running!

Core Values are born

Our Core Values are born with the first LUA.  The “GE Way” & “Built to Last” are required reading and shape the beginning of ARS becoming a company built on vision and values! The company decides to focus 100% of its attention on the restaurant business, and adds Poznan and Bydgoszcz.

People – Brand – Scale. We become international

We become international with the acquisition of Yum’s business in Czech Republic. This is our first acquisition and our first turn around; and teaches us the lesson and importance of People-Brands-Scale. With only six restaurants the business had lost $8 million but was quickly turned around to be extremely profitable by focusing on getting the right people, building the brand to be better than M and then building scale.

AmRest NV is born through the merger of ARS and YUM!

This bring 28 restaurants from ARS and 52 from YUM together, but more importantly it moves ARS from being highly profitable to a loss as it faces the challenge of turning around an accumulated $60 million loss from YUM. A few tough years follow as ARS learns to deal withbecoming a big company. Getting our values and WJM belief to spread from 1500 people to 3200 really challenges us. A focus on People-Brands-Scale prevails and a powerhouse in CEE is created!

More acquisitions

AmRest buys International Fast Food Polska Sp. z o.o. (IFFP), the operator of Burger King in Poland. Out of the 23 Burger King restaurants acquired, the Company closed 6 and rebranded the remaining 17 into KFC.

Our operating principles and DOS+ are born

Combined with significant improvement in marketing we begin to enjoy a significant increase in our loyal customers.

The freedom to become what we dream to be

In April AmRest successfully debuted on the stock market and Yum exits the company as a shareholder; a year later the share price increased by 100%.

In May we acquired 8 Big Food restaurants in Czech Republic, and rebranded them into KFC.

Stepping out

In March the first FreshPoint restaurant was established in Warsaw.

In April the first Rodeo Drive restaurant was opened in Wroclaw.

In May AmRest signed a contract on the acquisition of Kentucky Systems kft, the owner of 13 Pizza Hut and 4 KFC restaurants in Hungary.

Wow WJM really is true. Two new brands and three new countries!

In March we bring Burger King back to Poland!

At the same time we become partners with Starbucks; a huge achievement and recognition of the special culture AmRest has built.

In July we enter Russia with the acquisition of  22 KFCs and 19 Pizza Huts in three cities – Petersburg, Moscow and Kazan.

In November the first AmRest KFC restaurant on the Bulgarian market was opened in Sofia.

Also in November the first KFC restaurant in Belgrade Serbia was opened.

Starbucks, Russia, USA!

In January our first Starbucks store was opened in Prague Czech Republic, on Malostranske Namesti.

AmRest is consolidating the KFC market in Russia - at the beginning of the year AmRest signed the final agreements for the acquisition of 14 additional KFC restaurants in Moscow.

In May another milestone in AmRest history: the Company enters the US by acquiring 80% equity stake in the second largest Applebee’s® franchisee in the United States operating 104 restaurants.

Burger King opens in Bulgaria: Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia are announced to soon follow.

Continuous growth

We have already 436 restaurants! On April 7th we opened first Starbucks in Poland – in Warsaw.

New investor – Warburg Pincus

This time our efforts have been appreciated by a premier private equity firm, Warburg Pincus. After a long and comprehensive due diligence process, Warburg Pincus learned that we have a unique culture and unparalleled opportunities to achieve significant growth and offered to invest over 300 million pln for a 24.99% shareholding in AmRest. Our next success is opening first Starbucks in Budapest in Hungary!

Tagliatella on board!

AmRest announced the acquisition of a wonderful company in Spain, Restauravia. This acquisition was a wonderful demonstration of our belief in “Wszystko Jest Możliwe”! Restauravia operates 30 KFC’s and an Italian casual dining concept named Tagliatella. We feel that this concept has significant, international, growth potential and we plan to at least double the number of Tagliatella restaurants within 5 years.

Acquisition of Blue Horizon and development of La Tagliatella in new markets

We have opened our own restaurants La Tagliatella in new markets: France, China, the United States of America and Germany.

In December AmRest has acquired a majority stake in the Blue Horizon company, which owns two perfectly prosperous Chinese brands in Casual Dining sector: Blue Frog and Kabba. Thus 11 restaurants (10 Blue Frog and 1 Kabba) located in strategic locations in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing joined Amrest portfolio.

A record number of new openings

AmRest opened the first restaurant Stubb's in China.

This year we registered a record number of new restaurants - as many as 89.

In total we already have 733 restaurants! 99 of them are managed by our franchisees.

Investor Day with AmRest

In December we organized the first edition of Investor Day to enable our stakeholders better understanding of AmRest operation, its strategy and main development plans for the coming years.

Launch of unique concept Pizza Hut Express

In January we opened in Bielsko-Biała the first Pizza Hut Express restaurant. In the middle of the year AmRest acquired the operator of Starbucks stores in Romania and Bulgaria. Our portfolio increased by 14 units of this brand in Romania and 5 in Bulgaria. In 2015 large private equity fund, Finaccess, decided to invest in AmRest and acquired 31.71% stake in our Company from Warburg Pincus.

Acquisition of Starbucks business in Germany

In May AmRest became an operator of 144 Starbucks units in the German market and at the same time the Company’s portfolio crossed the threshold of 1000 restaurants.
AmRest became the master-franchisee of Pizza Hut Express and Delivery restaurants in CEE.
In 2016, following the settlement of the tender offer for sale of shares in AmRest, the Finaccess Group became the majority shareholder of our Company.

Accelerated growth of AmRest portfolio

In 2017 AmRest became the majority shareholder of Restaurant Partner Polska Sp. z o.o. – the company running PizzaPortal.pl, acquired 77 KFC restaurants (15 in Germany, 22 in Russia, 37 in France, 3 in Spain) and took over Pizza Hut Delivery business in France (123 restaurants) and Pizza Hut business in Germany (Dine-In, Delivery and Express, together 69 restaurants). Acquisition of Pizza Hut businesses on these two markets was connected to obtaining the master franchisee rights. We also entered 3 new markets – Portugal, Austria and Slovenia as well as opened first Blue Frog restaurants in Europe – in Spain and Poland.

Financial reports More

Check financial results Amrest Holding SE
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