KFC has had a bad run of it recently. Its much-publicised shortage of chicken meant that hundreds of its outlets were forced to close last month, then the fast-food giant was forced to deal with low stocks of its famous gravy!

After social media and the press had a field day with memes and jokes galore, KFC’s supply chain problems were rectified and its stores could open once again – even if reduced menus were on offer at some of its 900 stores across the UK and Ireland.

At the peak of the distribution drama, nearly 700 KFC outlets were closed after it switched its supplier from Bidvest to DHL. In a move that probably had the management team of Bidvest chuckling quietly, DHL said that it had experienced operational issues at its main delivery hub near Rugby.

KFC managed to salvage plenty of PR from the situation and had some fun with it too, spending money on a newspaper advertising campaign that showed one of its legendary chicken buckets bearing the adjusted logo letters ‘FCK’. It profusely apologised to customers for the ongoing issues.

GMB, the union, was critical of the fast food giant’s switch to DHL, which has limited experience in the food distribution industry. Bidvest, GMB said, was in contrast a specialist and well-respected provider of food logistics solutions.

The saga was certainly an entertaining one and it appears that KFC will experience little long-term harm as a result; if anything, the resulting press will have positioned the brand strongly in its customers’ minds once again. It will be interesting to see how the next quarter results look.

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