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Harland Sanders, or Colonel Sanders, began selling fried chicken in the US state of Kentucky in the late 1930s. After a bad start, Sanders worked on perfecting his secret 11 herbs and spices recipe and the business, now called Kentucky Fried Chicken, grew at an astonishing rate.
Following the first franchise in Salt Lake, Utah, and the release of the iconic “bucket meal” in the 1950s, the company went global; today there are in excess of 20,000 restaurants worldwide. In 1991, although the company is still Kentucky Fried Chicken, the shorter and easier name KFC was adopted. It is estimated that the various outlets serve in the region of 12 million customers daily.
KFC attributes its success to several factors. Firstly, all outlets still use Colonel Sander’s original secret recipe. Secondly, the company is committed to corporate responsibility as evidenced by the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation which has provided $15 million in scholarships to 3,200 students, the REACH Educational Grant Programme
that assists KFC employees in the US to go to college or trade/vocational schools, KFC Family Funds which helps KFC US employees affected by a crisis, and Add Hope aims to feed hungry families worldwide.
In addition, the company meets market demands. For instance, KFC does not use palm oil, unsold chicken is donated rather than wasted, nutritional values are clearly indicated, continual efforts are made to make foods healthier, and they are working towards dramatically reducing their carbon footprint in terms of power, water, waste, and packaging.
The products offered by Kentucky Fried Chicken
KFC is, of course, famous for its fried chicken; there are multiple forms and combinations available:
• Bucket meals of multiple crumbed chicken pieces designed for families or other groups of people to share
• Box meals which combine chicken, a side dish, and a drink
• A choice of chicken pieces
• Chicken burgers
• Vegetarian and healthier options such as savoury rice or salads
• Wraps of various kinds
• Snacks and side dishes such as chips, mash, coleslaw, etc.
• Sweet treats such as ice cream
• Children’s meals.
Nutritional and allergen information is available on all menu items.
How does the KFC franchise model work?
UK KFC franchises vary in size and many successful franchisees manage multiple sites. Most establishments are franchised. This figure in the UK is 95 per cent, and the aim is to have 98 per cent franchised globally. There are several options when it comes to the type of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise:
• Drive Thru: Customers remain in their cars to place and collect their food orders
• Smallbox: These small venues offer very limited seating and focus on grab-and-go ordering
• Restaurant: These provide plentiful seating so customers can eat their food on the premises
• Food court: These are grab-and-go outlets and customers use communal seating
Each of these has very specific requirements in terms of size, design, nearby amenities, and location.
How to become a KFC UK franchise owner
Although Kentucky Fried Chicken currently opens in the region of 1,000 new restaurants annually, the brand is not always looking for franchisees. Fill in the enquiry form found on this page to contact a member of the franchising team and to find out more information.
How much does a UK KFC franchise cost?
A KFC franchise is one of the most expensive available. While figures vary depending on the source, you need millions, not thousands, to purchase a franchise.
On the Kentucky Fried Chicken UK website, the company states that aspiring franchise owners must have £5 million in assets and £2 million in liquid capital. The franchise fee, which is payable upfront, is approximately £38,000. The balance is to set up and operate your new business.
However, given how well-established and successful KFC is, strong candidates are usually able to secure funding from a bank to launch their new venture.
What will I get from KFC for my investment?
Kentucky Fried Chicken is invested in the success and future of its franchisees. Each KFC owner is assigned a person who is there to provide all the necessary training and support.
• Training: Each KFC manager and his or her staff are required to attend seven weeks of intensive training (orientation, online, and on-the-job). In addition to this, franchisees are expected to take online courses through the company’s Learning Zone which will equip them to carry out any job in their business.
• Support: Central teams help you to ensure that the products, quality, brand, and customer service always meet the standards required by the company.
In addition, financial assistance to get your new business off the ground should be available from a bank given that Kentucky Fried Chicken is an established, proven, and
highly successful business.
Do I need experience in the food and beverage sector to run a KFC franchise?
KFC has strict selection criteria in addition to the finances you need to cover costs:
• Experience in the food and beverage or hospitality industries
• Entrepreneurial flair
• Business and operational skills that will allow you to run a fast food outlet
• The drive and ambition to have more than a single Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet
• The ability to manage and lead staff
Does KFC monitor its franchisees?
It does; in order to ensure that all KFC franchise outlets maintain standards, audits are carried out regularly. These look at food preparation, outlet cleanliness, customer satisfaction, and whether the food produced and the outlet overall meet brand standards. Customer feedback is measured through the system already in place in all outlets and online.
Do I have to pay anything on a regular basis?
Yes. There is a royalty fee and an advertising fee, and both of these are based on 5 per cent of gross revenue.
Where does the KFC franchise currently operate?
Kentucky Fried Chicken has a very strong global presence with tens of thousands of outlets worldwide and more stores open each month.
Will I be able to get an area of my choice?
You would have to enquire directly with KFC in this regard.
Is this the best franchise of its kind in the UK?
Kentucky Fried Chicken would provide two main responses to this. Firstly, there is only one KFC and it is one of the most recognised brands in the world. Secondly, while the financial investment level is very high, so are the returns.