Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, it appears that, at least in the UK, it’s not to get to KFC. The chicken restaurant has had to temporarily shutter over half of its 900 restaurants in the UK due to a lack of chicken caused by glitches with its new supply chain.
KFC, owned by Yum Brands, announced a revamping of its supply chain in November 2017, entering into a deal with DHL and QSL (Quick Service Logistics) that DHL referred to as ‘groundbreaking’ at the time, and ending their deal with the distribution firm Bidvest. However, only a week after the new arrangement took effect, incomplete or delayed deliveries have forced KFC to admit that ‘getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants….is pretty complex’.
The GMB labor union had apparently raised warning flags about the move away from Bidvest, saying it would ‘have consequences’. They have recently posted on their Twitter account that the issue was ‘entirely avoidable’.
Some of the chicken used by KFC is sourced from UK farms, and some comes from overseas suppliers, depending on the actual menu item.
One logistics expert said that the start of any new contract is usually the riskiest period, but knowing that, the involved parties usually have ‘planned to death’. Also, instances like this are typically not as publicly visible as in this case.
Some KFC stores are company-owned, and some are franchised, so the experiences of employees in the closed stores will vary.
As you can imagine, KFC customers in the UK were not amused by this turn of events, and both QSL and DHL’s apologies ‘for any inconvenience’ did little to satisfy social media posters.