KFC UK handles implausible chicken shortage with class

| by S.A. Whitehead
KFC UK handles implausible chicken shortage with class

KFC has shown some real public relations prowess in its handling of the nearly unfathomable problem of running out of its main product —chicken — in the U.K. Now the hot potato has been tossed to its delivery partner, the air freight airline, DHL, to whom the problem has been attributed.

Worldwide news coverage —  including stories in USAtoday, CNBC and the gamut of British and worldwide press organizations — have made the chain's seemingly implausible chicken shortage problem front page news, with headlines like, "Finger lickin' gone: KFC in Britain has no chicken," "Kentucky Fried Chicken in the UK somehow managed to run out of chicken," and "KFC lays an egg as chicken runs out." 

The reports all point out that KFC apologized to customers after many of its U.K.-based locations were forced to close in the absence of their key product. According to KFC, its new delivery partner, DHL, was having some start-up problems delivering the goods.

On Twitter, KFC managed to transfer the blame to its news partner in a sympathetic tone that showed both a sense of humor and class. 

"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!" the statement said.

"We won't compromise on quality, so no deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed, and others are operating a limited menu or shortened hours."

Then Monday morning, the brand posted an update playing on the same theme and showing some true hustle on the part of both DHL and KFC, as well as staying on top of the ball to keep customers informed. 

And you had better believe DHL leadership also made sure it issued apologies for the problem as well, telling CNBC, for instance, that operational issues resulted in the delivery problem. 
 

Photo: iStock


Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Chicken, Communications, Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Operations Management

Companies: KFC



S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.


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