I’m sort of surprised there isn’t a thread about this already (or maybe I just missed it - I did search).
This last week, nearly every KFC restaurant in the UK (900 of them) was closed for days, or the whole week, due to having run out of their signature ingredient - chicken.
Apparently, all caused by a decision to switch logistics provider, changing from a chilled distribution chain supplier with a national reputation for quality, to a parcel carrier with only one chilled depot in the country.
Okay, the UK isn’t the largest country in the world, but using only ONE warehouse when before it was using SIX for distribution? Who was stupid enough to believe that would work? “They made promises…”. Well, yeah, salespeople will tell you bullshit you want to hear. You have to use your brain when negotiating with them.
The supplier they were switching away from is a major food logistics company. I’m guessing someone made arguments that they needed six warehouses because of the scale of their other catering contracts or some such.
Even so, it seems hopelessly naive to have expected the whole of the UK to be supplied with perishable foodstuffs from a single distribution centre; the UK isn’t big, but road haulage isn’t quick or simple to every part of it.
I wonder what will actually happen. DHL has little hope of fixing it; Bidvest (the previous logistics chain) has laid off staff after losing the KFC contract; there doesn’t seem to be any quick fix for this.
I’ve heard that KFC is the most popular worldwide of the US fast food chains. Apparently, fried chicken is something that fits in well enough with almost any regional cuisine. Probably not relevant to the UK, though, whose culinary tastes are similar to the US.
From what I’ve read, KFC suffers from years of cost-cutting in their recipes, so that for instance what used to be decent gravy is now basically thickened brown water. I haven’t had it in years and never really liked it, and I don’t imagine that many people who were put off by “fried” in “Kentucky Fried Chicken” suddenly think that something called “KFC” is good for you.
My favorite take-out chicken place I think only operates in Canada, Swiss Chalet. It’s spit-broiled chicken – probably like your supermarket deli but it’s a well-honed specialty with them – with a great dipping sauce that I always get an extra of, and (usually) really tasty fries. I just wish they had McDonald’s consistency. When it’s good, it’s very, very good, but occasionally it’s substandard.
I didn’t know if they changed their recipe, cut costs and quality, or if my sense of taste just changed. In any case, I don’t find KFC as tasty as I once did. The Original Recipe chicken tastes too greasy, and they no longer have their Extra Spicy Crispy. The regular Crispy is too bland. I’ve found that the hot-case chicken at the supermarket near the office, or the supermarkets near the house, are crispier, better seasoned, and tastier.
I’m not aware of a baked beans option here. But on the rare occasion I go to KFC, I’m in a hurry to get back to my desk.