(395 Harvard Ave) EC student Mike Kelly accepted a job with Yum! Brands last week and vowed not to rest until every Papua New Guinean had access to a Taco Bell Beef Gordita and Chicken Chalupa.
“It pains me to think that the good citizens of Papua New Guinea have continuously been denied delicious Mexican food at affordable prices,” proclaimed Kelly. “All over the country Papua New Guineans are walking around hungry for South of Border. But not one of them has access to a good steak Burrito or Zesty Chicken Bowl. That’s just plain wrong. This is not the kind of world I want to live in. That’s why I’ve accepted the job, Manager of Taco Bell South Pacific/Uzbekistan region.”
Kelly impressed Yum! Brands management last summer when he successfully opened up the first multi-brand quick service restaurant in Mongolia. “Last April, Mike came to us and said he wanted to help us grow our business in Mongolia,” said VP of Operations Steve Kilpatrick. “Well, we already had five KFC’s in and around Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia’s capital, but I admired his enthusiasm so much that I sent him over anyway to see if there was an opportunity for Yum! Brands’s other four restaurants.”
“Well, in July I got a letter from Mike telling me to fly to Murun, Mongolia because he had a surprise for me at Lake Huvsgul. So I jumped on the next flight from Houston, TX to Murun, Mongolia to see what Mike had up his sleeve.”
What Kilpatrick saw at Mongolia’s legendary Lake Huvsgul still amazes him to this day. “When I got to the lake, I just started hiking in the hills surrounding it. Right at the point I started to get hungry, I went for the first yurt I saw, expecting to buy a few pieces of Yak cheese or Marmot filets.”
“But when I opened up the flaps to the tent, there it was – an A&W, a Pizza Hut and Taco Bell all in one yurt. It brought tears to my eyes it was so beautiful. It was like being in a rest-stop on the New Jersey turnpike.
Only in the middle of Mongolia. I had thought that Mike would be able to open a single Long John Silver’s in a best case scenario, but I never imagined that he could pull off a multi-brand site in such a grand fashion.”
“And it made perfect business sense. I saw a family of nomads eating a variety of Yum! Brands food. The father and mother were eating all-American A&W food, their son was munching on cheese-crust pan pizza and the daughter was devouring a Soft Taco Supreme. If Mike hadn’t had the intuition to put three Yum! concepts in that one tent, Yum! Brands definitely would have lost some of that herdsmen revenue to the McDonald’s in the yurt across the street. That’s when I knew Mike should get an offer.”
Kelly is hopeful for the prospects of Taco Bell in Papua New Guinea. “I plan on opening up a Taco Bell in Port Moresby before September,” announced Kelly. “By 2006, every beach and every cluster of huts should have at least one Taco Bell.”
But this is about more than profits for Kelly. It’s about helping out the country and its people.
“I just hope Yum! Brands can do for Papua New Guinea what fast food has done for America.”