Yum! Brands, Inc., or Yum! and formerly Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., is an American fast food company. A Fortune 500 corporation, Yum! operates the brands Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet worldwide, except in China, where the brands are operated by a separate company, Yum China. Prior to 2011, Yum! owned Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, it is one of the world's largest fast food restaurant companies in terms of system units—with 43,617 restaurants (including 2,859 that are company-owned and 40,758 that are franchised) around the world in over 135 countries and territories.
Yum! was created on May 30, 1997, as Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc. from PepsiCo's fast food division as the parent corporation of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurant companies. Tricon Global was spun out in late 1997. Tricon selected Louisville as its headquarters, moving near the KFC Restaurant Support Center from the Pepsi HQ in Purchase, New York, by early 1998.
In 2000, Tricon Global agreed to test multi-branded locations with Yorkshire Global Restaurants. By March 2002, the Tricon-Yorkshire multibranding test consisted of 83 KFC/A&Ws, six KFC/Long John Silver's and three Taco Bell/Long John Silver's and was considered successful by the companies.
In 2001, KFC started test restaurants in Austin, Texas, called "Wing Works", which is a chicken wing line sold with one of a few flavored sauces. Also, KFC hired a consultant to develop a breakfast menu.
In March 2002, Tricon announced the acquisition of Lexington, Kentucky-based Yorkshire Global Restaurants, owner of the Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants chains and its intention to change the company's name to Yum! Brands, Inc. to match its NYSE ticker symbol. The name change became effective after a vote during the company's annual shareholders meeting by May 22, 2002 while the acquisition was finalized on May 8th. On June 6, 2002, Yum! executed a two-for-one stock split. Shortly afterwards, due to Yum!'s lifetime contract with Pepsi, Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants (both of which previously served Coca-Cola products) began switching to Pepsi products, with A&W Restaurants retaining A&W Root Beer from a separate deal with Dr Pepper/Seven Up (now Dr Pepper Snapple Group).
In 2002, Yum! began testing co-branding locations pairing Pizza Hut with Pasta Bravo, Back Yard Burgers and A&W. The Pasta Bravo concept was acquired in 2003 from Pasta Bravo, Inc. of Aliso Viejo, California for $5 million to pair with Pizza Hut.
In 2003, Yum! launched WingStreet as a hybrid combo unit with an existing Pizza Hut franchise. In 2007 and 2008, a thousand WingStreet stores a year were opened. On October 19, 2009, Company president Scott Bergren publicize WingStreet's national launch.
An East Dawning test cafeteria-style restaurant was opened in Shanghai in 2004. After initially failing, Yum! Brands chose the KFC business model (KFC is the most successful Western chain in China) and found greater success. As of September 30, 2007, eight East Dawning restaurants were in operation.
In January 2011, Yum! announced its intentions to divest itself of its Long John Silver's and A&W brands to focus on its core brands of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. For the decade leading up to the company's announcement, major growth had relied on international expansion. With little presence outside North America, the two chains no longer fit in the company's long-term growth plans. The foreign expansion—particularly that of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut—was cited in the firm's January 18, 2011, announcement of its intention to sell the A&W and Long John Silver's chains. Both of those chains also suffered from poor sales, and had fewer locations compared to the other chains in the Yum! Brands portfolio. In September 2011, Yum! announced they had found buyers for the A&W and LJS chains. A Great American Brand will buy A&W, and LJS will be acquired by LJS Partners LLC.
In May 2011, Yum! agreed to purchase Chinese hot pot chain Little Sheep for HK$4.56 billion. The deal spent more than 4 months in anti-trust review by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, to determine whether or not the transaction would result in a monopolistic positioning of Yum! in the country's restaurant industry. The Ministry approved the deal in November 2011, according to Little Sheep representatives.
In 2012, a KFC opened in Ramallah and became the first American fast food restaurant to operate in the West Bank; a Pizza Hut is also planned.
In 2013, a few KFC locations in China supplied chicken found to contain "excess levels of chemical residue". Yum! has lost 6% of sales from publicity in China as of January 25.
The company opened its first restaurant in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in May 2013. For Mongolia, KFC is the first western fast food to open its doors in the country. The company is planning to open 15 more restaurants in Ulaanbaatar in the next 5 years, including the country's first drive-thru service. Yum! Brands has also opened Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in newer Target stores.
Yum! Brands opened its 40,000th store in Calangute, Goa, India in October 2013.
In 2013, its KFC subsidiary opened a fast casual version, KFC eleven, test location in Louisville on Bardstown Road. In the third quarter of 2013, Yum! Brands had to book an impairment of the goodwill resulting from the takeover of Little Sheep in 2011 in the amount of $222 million, which reduced profits for 2013.
In 2014, Yum! launched a number of additional restaurant test concepts, Super Chix, U.S. Taco Co. and Banh Shop. Yum! opened Super Chix in Central Arlington, Texas that is similar in format to Chick-fil-A on April 9, 2014. In the summer of 2014, Yum!'s Taco Bell subsidiary launched its U.S. Taco Co and Urban Tap Room fast-casual taco concept restaurant in Huntington Beach, California, to take on fast casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera.
In the first quarter of 2015, Third Point Management and Corvex Management separately acquired an unspecified stake in the company. The sole KFC Eleven was closed in April 2015. A second Chix unit opened in May 2015 with additional menu items. Super Chix was sold to founder Nick Ouimet and an investment group in August 2015.
In 2017, Yum! announced plans to open 10 Pizza Hut restaurants in Ethiopia, after signing a franchise with the country's Belayab Foods and Franchise PLC.
The current executive chairman of Yum! Brands is Greg Creed. The previous CEO was David C. Novak. Novak became CEO of predecessor firm Tricon Global on January 1, 2000, and chairman of the board on January 1, 2001. Greg Creed replaced Novak in his role as CEO on January 1, 2015. At the AGM in May 2016, Robert D. Walter became non-executive chairman.
On October 20, 2015, Yum! Brands, Inc., announced that it intended to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies. Yum China was spun off on November 1, 2016.
Since 2006, Yum! Brands has served as the corporate sponsor of the Kentucky Derby.