KFC Restaurant
KFC restaurant exterior

KFC blamed the complexity of its delivery operations for a shortage of chicken that this weekend saw some of its 900 UK stores forced to close or reduce their trading hours and menu options.

Just before 12:30pm on Saturday, February 17th, KFC UK & Ireland tweeted that “the chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants…” and added: “We’ve brought a new delivery partner onboard, but they’ve had a couple of teething problems – getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex!”

As of 9:18pm on Sunday, February 18th, an updated statement on the company’s website listed 263 stores that remained open and said: “No deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed, and others are operating a limited menu, or shortened hours.”

The incident highlights the importance of reliable logistics, especially in operations as complex as KFC’s, whose Original Recipe chicken on the bone is sourced entirely from British and Irish farms, using only Red Tractor approved suppliers.

With this kind of provenance, it is not simply a case of finding alternative chicken from a local supplier when a delivery does not make it through – making successful logistics mission-critical for the brand.

By 1:20pm on Monday, February 19th, the list of open stores had increased to just 296 – still only around a third of the 900 KFC branches nationwide – as restaurant teams continued “working flat out” to get operations up and running.

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