The week when KFC ran out of chicken

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.

Their apology poster is pretty funny -
(Well, it would be funnier I guess if loads of people hadn’t been sent home with no pay this week)

Apparently police had to ask people to stop calling them over it. And at least one MP has been asked to do something…

I read about in the paper. Wow!
So is it back to normal?
There would be riots in the street around here.

KFC’s chicken:
Seventeen herbs and spices,
But not any meat.

This is just to say
I have parodied
your post
which was in
the thread

and which
you probably
in good faith

Forgive me
it was almost haiku
so short
and three-lined.

so much depends

some tons of fowl

covered with spiced

and fed to White

Delivery problems…one depot… Does that mean there’s a big pile of rotting chicken matching the scale of the shortage?

Probably. There is at least one reported case where a driver has just dumped crates of expired chicken by the side of the road

OK, so who made the decision to use the new service, what cutbacks were they getting, and what’s become of them?

There’s some interesting background here:

I doubt the full details of who pushed the button will come out though.

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.

I do like the apology ads, I’ll give them credit for that. And kudos to the British for not falling into pearl clutching swoons over the ads, which is the reaction those ads would cause in the states.

I’m just surprised that KFC appears to be so popular there.

When I want fried chicken, I usually drive a few miles past the KFC that’s near to my office, and get some at a supermarket hot deli.

Good Lord, they chose DHL? Those folks couldn’t find their asses with both hands and a searchlight around here. No wonder.

Supermarket hot counters here don’t very often have breaded fried chicken on offer - and if they do, it’s nearly always inferior to KFC - typically dried out and overcooked.

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.

When I complain about my wife and her fowl, I joke by saying, *“She’s got more damn chickens than Colonel Sanders!”.
I might be on to something…

Me too. And I live here.


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.

It’s the tub of baked beans (yes, you heard that right) that make KFC a winner in the UK …

I prefer NZ style mashed potato and gravy, myself.

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.