After a chicken shortage forced KFC to close most of its restaurants, KFC has shown a “masterclass in PR crisis management” with a full-page newspaper advert saying: “FCK.”
Most of the 900 outlets in Britain were forced to shut earlier this week when problems arose after KFC switched its delivery contract from Bidvest Logistics to DHL.
According to the GMB union, the switch led to 255 redundancies and the closure of a Bidvest depot, however, that didn’t stop KFC from using an age-old chicken gag to break the news about its closures.
Twitter spiraled into a comedy black hole over the Coonel’s chicken shortage and even the GMB union couldn’t resist - despite the harsh reality of the situation - from playing along.
Mick Rix, GMB National Officer said: ”We tried to warn KFC this decision would have consequences – well now the chickens are coming home to roost.”
KFC customers, meanwhile, were none too pleased.
On Friday, KFC upped its response, taking out a full-page ad in the Metro and The Sun to apologise to its customers and praise its staff and “partners”.
It featured the chain’s signature chicken bucket, with its logo re-worked to reveal, almost, a swear word often used to exclaim a calamity.
The was followed by: “We’re sorry.”
The advert read: “A chicken restaurant with any chicken. It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed.
“And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners working tirelessly to improve the situation. It’s been a hell of a week, but we’re making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us.”
The advert was well received, winning praise from Frank PR founder Andrew Bloch, among others.
Some still considered the chicken controversy a non-story.
KFC said earlier in the week that salaried employees would still be paid, but that could vary for team members in the 95% of outlets that are run by franchisees.
It also said staff were being encouraged to take holiday where possible, but were not being forced to do so.
Courier company DHL was responsible for the error and said earlier this week that it was working with KFC to “rectify the situation”.
KFC has set up an emergency website to let its customers know which restaurants are open.