Yum China CEO hails China's efforts in controlling COVID-19
Updated 23:07, 09-Dec-2020

About 99.5 percent of Yum's outlets in China are back on track now thanks to the government's efforts over quarantine and social distancing measures, noted Joey Wat, the CEO of Yum China, in an interview with Time Magazine on November 23.  

Yum China is the owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in China and currently takes the crown as the country's largest restaurant company by operating some 10,000 restaurants in 1,400 cities. 

She mentioned that life is back to normal and traffic jams resurface here and there again, adding traffic between the cities is somewhere in the 70 percent to 80 percent range.  

"As a business, we are vigilant, and I think the government has done a superb job to react very quickly whenever they need to. Even for one or two cases, without disclosing the name of the person, they will disclose the route of the person," Wat told Time Magazine. 

Government workers would come to KFC at times for inspection. The staff then closed the whole store to do all the disinfection work. Everyone there would be put under quarantine until they tested negative for COVID-19, said the CEO.

"When we need to wear masks and do temperature checks, everybody is so cooperative. It's phenomenal to see the collective will to do something good for the collective goodness. The key things are the mask and the handwashing."

"Every single day, we have a call in the morning for the headquarters, and then it cascades down all the way back to each store," said Wat.

Yum China shaped up its crisis committee back on January 11 and has since then been meeting every day, regardless of weekends or holidays. Thanks to the efforts,  it had merely 10 coronavirus cases out of over 400,000 employees, and eight were in Wuhan.

(Cover: A KFC restaurant is seen in Shanghai, China March 12, 2019. /Reuters)