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The latest news on KFC from Business Insider

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    kfc chinaNot since Patton Oswalt’s failure pile in a sadness bowl comedy bit has such a mockery been made of Colonel Sanders’ fried chicken franchise. When he opened his first restaurant in the front room of a Kentucky gas station during the Great Depression, never could the Southern gentleman have imagined that one day, in China, his famous beloved recipe of 11 herbs and spices would be ordered based on the “cuteness” criteria of its delivery boys.  

    First things first: KFC delivers? In certain overseas markets, surprisingly, yes. But American customers of the Yum! Brands (YUM) fast food chain shouldn’t feel slighted. In fact, KFC is doing them a favor by forcing them out of their darkened apartments where This Mortal Coil's It'll End in Tears is playing on a loop.

    Assuming the female clientele of China’s KFC establishments aren’t shut-ins listening to ‘80s depressive rock, the delivery service is working out quite well. When they place orders online for their piece of meat, they get to request that it’s brought to their door by one as well.  

    A woman named Woshikaogong unintentionally started the poultry escort service when, while filling out her order on the website, facetiously wrote in the “other requirements” column, “I want a handsome man to deliver the food to me.” KFC fulfilled her order, sending a “very cute” deliveryman and even followed up with a phone call to ensure the customer was satisfied with him. 

    After Woshikaogong blogged about the incident on China’s Twitter hybrid service Sina Weibo, a rush of similar requests were made to KFC with online orders.

    “Want a cute, sunny but shy delivery man.” 
    “No need for receipt but want cute and hot delivery man.” 

    And they’ve gotten oddly specific. 

    "I asked for big eyes and got big eyes!"
    “I asked for a cute gay to deliver my food. The one came didn’t look gay at all, but cute nevertheless. He said they don’t have gay deliveryman at his branch. He also said that though many asked for cute boys, I was the first to ask for a gay.”

    It may be weird. It may be sexist. But why should men ordering from Amazon (AMZN) get all the delivery eye candy?

    This post originally appeared at Minyanville. 

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    KFC at NYSE

    Yum! Brands CEO David Novak isn't just content to "feed the world." He also wants to school the world on how to run a business.

    Novak tells USA Today's Kathy Chu:

    "We don't want to just be a global company, we want everyone to come to us and say, 'What's the key to your success?'"

    Later in the interview, Novak did reveal the secret:

    "Our formula for success is very simple: Build people capability. Make that your No. 1 priority. Then you can satisfy more customers and make more money. That's the common sense truism of our business."

    It's to find great talent. That's not only the key to growth in emerging markets, as he has hinted at before, but it's simply how you're able to make more money. That's not enough though, he admitted. When you're the CEO of a giant multinational like Yum!, you have to make identify your best opportunities and make big moves too. 

    "You need to be strategic. We knew that the growth in the U.S. business was going to be slow to moderate over the long term, and that to be a growth company, we needed to strategically make an investment in our international business. We focused our capital in big opportunity markets, like China, India, Russia. France and Germany (also) represent big opportunities.

    NOW SEE: 12 McDonald's Menu Items That Failed Spectacularly >

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    kfc thailand

    BANGKOK (AP) — KFC Thailand has issued an apology after being criticized for a Facebook message that urged people to rush home during Wednesday's tsunami scare and order a bucket of KFC chicken.

    As people were being urged to evacuate from beach areas, the company posted this message: "Let's hurry home and follow the earthquake news. And don't forget to order your favorite KFC menu."

    It prompted hundreds of angry comments on a variety of Thai web boards that denounced the company as insensitive and selfish.

    By Thursday the message was removed and replaced by one that asked for forgiveness.

    Wednesday's earthquakes in Indonesia revived memories of the 2004 Asian tsunami that claimed 230,000 lives, including more than 8,000 people in Thailand.

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    KFC Chicken

    A Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise owner is being sued by a former manager who claims he was terminated "for refusing to sell rotten meat" in the Oregon restaurant.

    Chris Morran at The Consumerist tracked down the details of the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday (you can also view it at Courthouse News).

    In it the plaintiff claims his boss changed the "kill date" on poultry labels, and says that when he threatened to notify the Oregon Health Dept., he was fired and told there had been "complaints about his management."

    The suit identified another general manager who allegedly resigned in April 2011 because "he could not stand serving rotten chicken to families anymore" and that the owner had forced him to serve poultry that was "turning green and was several days beyond the expiration date," according to the suit.

    KFC's policy requires all "fresh chicken be served or discarded within 12 days of the 'kill date' stamped on the box."

    Now read about 9 PR fiascos that were handled brilliantly by management >

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    We knew KFC was taking over China, but we didn't know how much it was leaving other multinationals in the dust. Here's a chart of revenue in China as a percent of global revenue from a Chinese news site (via China Hush):

    chart

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    kfc twister

    The New South Wales Supreme Court in Australia has ordered KFC to pay a family $8 million plus legal costs for giving a girl severe brain damage due to salmonella poisoning, reports Sky News.

    Monika Samaan was seven years old when she got salmonella poisoning after eating some chicken in 2005. She was taken to a hospital, remained in a coma for six months, and acquired spastic quadriplegia and brain damage.

    Her family claimed that the source was a Chicken Twister from KFC and went to court. 

    KFC isn't happy about the decision. Here's the statement it released, according to the Herald Sun:

    "We believe the evidence showed KFC did not cause this tragedy and, after reviewing the judgment and seeking further advice from our lawyers, we have decided to appeal Justice Rothman's decision.”

    Nothing good can come of this for KFC, no matter how the episode turns out. It's already dealing with backlash after a KFC manager came out a couple weeks ago saying that he was fired for refusing to serve "rotten" chicken.

    NOW SEE: The 7 Biggest Mistakes Companies Make During A PR Crisis >

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    yum brands ceo david novak

    Barney Wolf at QSR Magazine contacted a half-dozen "major KFC owners" to comment for his lengthy expose about CEO David Novak's global leadership of KFC parent Yum! Brands.

    Not one of them agreed to talk.

    Here's what Andrew Seldon, an attorney and counsel for the Association of KFC Franchisees had to say to QSR Magazine:

    They’re all terrified. [They] don’t want to get on the targeting radar."

    There's always some animosity in the franchiser-franchisee relationship, but things have gotten quite heated at KFC between Novak and his minions.

    Novak inherited a culture full of financial problems and animosity when he became president of KFC in 1996. After his promotion to CEO of parent Yum! Brands and some court cases involving marketing decisions and store remodelings, KFC owners have become fearful of his wrath.

    Novak now has a new exec, John Cywinski, running KFC in the U.S., and so far it looks like the franchisees like his new marketing plan and willingness to reach out.

    NOW SEE: This Will Be The Biggest McDonald's Ever Constructed >

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    greenpeace kfcThis morning, Greenpeace activists scaled the KFC HQ and put up a giant banner that read, "KFC Stop Trashing My Home."

    This time, it's accusing them of destroying the Indonesian rainforest, the last habitat of Sumatran tigers, because it gets paper for its packaging from Asia Pulp & Paper — a company that's been on the defensive about environmental issues in the area.

    "We've discovered KFC's secret recipe and it's rainforest destruction," says the Greenpeace website. "Our researchers have found that KFC's throw-away packaging contains rainforest fiber from Indonesia's rainforest."

    "That's right. KFC is destroying the habitat of the last remaining Sumatran tigers for potato wedges and 12-piece buckets of extra crispy chicken. It's disgusting."

    Greenpeace promises that this marks the "beginning of a global campaign against KFC's role in rainforest destruction." It's demanding that KFC drops APP and implements a policy against rainforest destruction.

    UPDATE: A Yum Brands spokesperson has reached out to us with the company's response. He says, “the fact is that 60% of paper products we purchase are sourced from sustainable forests, and suppliers are moving toward 100%.”

    And APP has a statement too: "As far as APP products are concerned, MTH does NOT come from the felling of virgin tropical rainforest trees in Indonesia. APP has strict policies and practices in place to ensure that only residues from legal plantation development on degraded or logged-over forest areas and sustainable wood fiber enters the production supply chain."

    Don't miss: The Incredible Story Of How KFC Took Over China >

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    kfc

    Behold, the KFC 'Cheese Top Burger.'

    It's a a fried chicken sandwich topped with garlic-parmesan sauce. Atop the bun lies a layer of American cheese. It looks incredibly inconvenient, and it's only available in the Philippines for a limited time.

    Which begs the question: why the heck would someone create this thing?

    The ridiculousness of the sandwich has helped it go viral, becoming the latest example of gimmick burger marketing to go wild on the web.

    [via greengoddess on Reddit]

    NOW SEE: 12 McDonald's Menu Items That Failed Spectacularly >

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    kfc fried chicken

    McDonald's has stepped further into KFC's world, and the chicken chain isn't going to just lay down and get trampled. It's fighting back, reports Scott Hume at Burger Business.

    In January, McDonald's came out with the Chicken McBites — a popcorn-chicken like offering it imported from McDonald's Australia. It's now touting its Spicy Chicken McBites.

    There's something even more threatening for KFC on the horizon. McDonald's CEO Don Thompson has said that he's going to focus on chicken during the down economy.

    In response, KFC is introducing KFC Original Recipe Bites, which will compete directly against McDonald's Chicken McBites. It's a "shot cross the bow of burger chains," according to Burger Business.

    Other fast food chains are getting geared up for the chicken war as well. Burger King reformulated its Chicken Tenders, Sonic has brought back its Jumbo Popcorn Chicken, while Checkers and Jack in the Box have brand new Chicken Nuggets.

    Let the Chicken War commence!

    NOW SEE: How Chipotle Changed Fast Food Forever >

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    Fish Donuts

    KFC is well known for its ubiquitous fried chicken.

    But there are plenty of other things on the KFC menu.

    In fact, if you venture out to one of the 115 countries where you can find a KFC, you'll find stuff that is far far from fried chicken.

    Fish Donuts

    Country sold: Malaysia

    Source: KFC Malaysia



    The Cali Maki Twister

    Countries sold: Japan, Philippines

    Source: KFC Japan, KFC Philippines



    Cheese on top burger

    Country sold: Philippines

    Source: KFC Philippines



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kfc protest

    Here's a weird way to protest something.

    Wealthy Chinese businessman Yang Lin bought 22 buckets of KFC chicken and put them in front of the restaurant in Hankou, China, to protest the food cleanliness there, reports China Daily.

    He had seen a worker making food without wearing gloves, a hat or a mask.

    Then, he tried to buy 2,000 family buckets — about $22,000 worth of food, according to Eater — but KFC refused to serve him the meals, foiling his protest.

    Well, it was a nice try, and his willingness to spend that kind of money showed his devotion to the cause. The gesture itself got plenty of media coverage, and in the end he managed to at least get acknowledgment from KFC.

    Yum! Brands, KFC's parent, tells China Daily that the workers involved are being disciplined and that it "appreciates Yang's supervision."

    NOW SEE: Japan's Epic Fast Food War Inspired These Crazy Menu Items > 

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    Hundreds of protesters have set fire to a KFC restaurant in the city of of Tripoli in Northern Lebanon, Sky News reports.

    At least one person is reported to have died in the attacks in the city.

    The attacks appear to be another response to the US-made anti-Islamic film that caused chaos in the Middle East and an upcoming visit by the Pope. The protesters were chanting "We don't want the Pope" and "No more insults (to Islam)".

    Now Lebanon reports that police had to open fire to control the protesters, while Russia Today reports that protesters also tried to storm the Grand Serail of the city, the headquarters of the Prime Minister.

    Below is an image from the scene:

    KFC Lebanon Attack

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    kfc raw chicken sandwich

    Reddit user boneriffic12 posted a pretty gross picture of a chicken sandwich that was apparently ordered from KFC.

    The meat looks very undercooked, and yes, the person ate that bite that's missing from the sandwich.

    It was purchased in Ontario, Canada, according to the Redditor. That's why the box in the photo says PFK — "Poulet frit a la Kentucky."

    "He said he was talking with his brother and not paying attention lol he didn't look down until he went to take his second bite," he writes on Reddit.

    We're sure that the patron will be quite a bit more careful next time he bites into a fast food sandwich.

    NOW SEE: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants In America >

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    kfc raw chicken sandwich

    A gross picture of a very undercooked KFC chicken sandwich made its rounds on the web a few days ago, and now we have a detailed explanation of what happened straight from the guy who bit into that sandwich.

    According to his account, it appears that the KFC location handled the situation quite well, although it was obviously at fault in the first place.

    The customer, Doug, explained to us in an email:

    On August 31st, I went to the KFC in Cambridge with my brother. We each bought the Wicked Zinger Box Meal to go, as well as some popcorn chicken, and took it home. We sat down to eat and I started talking with my brother and eating my sandwich. In the middle of that I looked down and noticed exactly what you see in the pictures. I immediately asked my brother to check his own sandwich, which he tore open. Although it was slightly undercooked in the center, it was mostly white (nothing like mine). 

    We drove back to the restaurant and showed the lady who dealt with us earlier (she was only doing the cash). She was disgusted and called the manager. After seeing the sandwich, he went to the back to see who was the individual in charge of making them. He returned and offered to make my brother and I a new sandwich personally. I advised that I was not interested in having another one of those sandwiches again. He took my name down and advised that I would get a free meal the next time I went in, which I said I wouldn't expect to happen. 

    I went onto the KFC Canada website and filled out a feedback form. Once I did not receive a response, on September 4th I posted the picture on KFC Canada's Facebook page, as well as my own. Within 10 minutes, KFC Canada commented on it and asked that I call their 1-800. I called and did a report with them. They advised that they would be looking into it and getting back to me. I have not heard back from them as of yet.

    My friend Greg shared the picture on his own Facebook and then signed up on reddit.com to post it on there as well. We were not expecting this to get all the attention that it did. Greg just thought that it was crazy and disgusting that this would have happened and wanted people to know about it. 

    NOW SEE: 14 Ways To Get Fired From McDonald's >

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    KFC China

    Yum! Brands does 40 percent of its business in China. The owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut capitalized on the emerging market before any other major chain and reaped the benefits. 

    But Yum!'s KFC is facing major obstacles in China, according to a recent report by Citi

    The biggest one is increased competition. Chains like McDonald's and Burger King have stepped up their game in China.

    According to Citi:

    We believe that KFC has seen the biggest impact from intensified competition, given KFC has the largest and most established store base of the  global restaurant chains operating in China. We believe sales gains by new KFC  and other western concepts (notably MCD), as well as popular domestic chains,  such as Laibibao (fast food, rice), Zhengongfu (national fast food chain),  Jijixiaosheng and Yonghe Bean Milk (Taiwanese national fast food chain), have been cannibalizing existing KFC stores.

    Citi also notes that a "weaker Chinese consumer is having a material affect on traffic" in KFC stores.

    KFC sales are still expected to grow, just at a much slower pace than last year. 

    Here's a graph showing same store sales at Chinese restaurant chains, including KFC, McDonald's and Starbucks

    chart restaurants china

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    kfc double down

    If you're in a populated area of Peru, you only have to travel, on average, two-thirds of a mile to reach the closest American fast food joint.

    In fact, Peru has the highest concentration of U.S. fast food restaurants of any country on the planet, report John Quigley and Ari Altstedter at Bloomberg.

    And Yum! Brands' KFC rules the Peruvian market.

    The big American chains moved into Peru back in the 1980s, and over time they've managed to take over the industry. Now the U.S. chains have 60 percent of the market, with McDonald's and Burger King as the fastest-growing brands.

    How did Peru become a bastion of American fast food?

    Well, there's a big food scene and the culture is open to foreign influences — they're particularly in love with American culture. Plus, the American chains are simply more adept at their trade than the local businesses.

    Diego Herrera, president of the Peruvian Chamber of Franchises, explains to Bloomberg:

    “Foreign brands have much more experience and they have a structure and operating capacity that brands in Peru haven’t been able to develop ... They’re brands that have studied their marketing, their customers, their processes almost to perfection. They come here and advance very quickly, filling gaps at a sort of pace that Peruvian businesses can’t match.”

    NOW SEE: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants In America >

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    kfc fried chicken

    During the summer, KFC starting selling Original Recipe Bites. 

    Then came Chicken Littles.

    Now, KFC's going with Dip'ems — a repackaged version of the fast food brand's Extra Crispy chicken tenders.

    There's a very specific reason that KFC decided to go with these items as its limited-time offerings, reports Mark Brandau at Nation's Restaurant News.

    Tim Nelson, president of ad agency Tris3ct, explains to NRN why KFC is going this:

    The next frontier for a place like KFC is to become a snack destination. The sales and traffic growth in QSR is going to come around snacking. You also can sell these Dip’ems in the drive-thru, which where you can sell more drinks, where the best margins come in.”

    It's a "thoughtful pursuit," according to Nelson. For instance, another one of Yum! Brands' chains Taco Bell came out with the Doritos Locos Tacos to make a wider impact on the business. KFC is staying focused, doing everything it can with product development to attack the snack food segment.

    NOW SEE: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants In America >

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    kfc buffet

    It's the stuff of legends — the all-you-can-eat KFC buffet.

    Apparently, all you have to do is pay $8.99 and you can fill yourself with drumstick and mountains of mashed potatoes.

    "The tip came in by way of a frantically excited friend of mine who spotted the unicorn-of-a-fastfood-specimen on a recent drive through the city of Banning, a town residing in the Southern California county of Riverside," writes Elie Ayrouth at Foodbeast.

    "While this isn’t the only KFC in the world with a reported all-you-can-eat buffet, it’s the first time I’ve been privy to it."

    Here's a pic of the fabled buffet:

    kfc buffet 

    Have you run into an all-you-can-eat KFC buffet lately – including the one in Banning? There should be more around the country.

    Shoot me an email at kbhasin@businessinsider.com.

    NOW SEE: A Step-By-Step Look At How McDonald's Makes Its Fries >

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    popeyes chicken

    Popeyes is buying up 28 former KFC locations, mostly in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

    This all happened because the KFC franchisee went bankrupt, and there are 21 more restaurants that it has closed down. Popeyes is currently trying to get approval to purchase the rest.

    Carol Tice at Forbes calls it "a move that sums up the ascendance of one surging brand and the decline of another."

    But KFC's not going to lie down and get beaten by Popeyes. The statement the company gave Tice is evidence that it's going to try to put up a fight:

    “KFC Corporation is intimately involved and intends to make every effort to see that as many restaurants as possible continue to operate as KFC restaurants with the same employee teams but under new ownership.”

    Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder made it abundantly clear in an interview with us in October that KFC's not her prime concern. She wants to compete with the whole top five of the fast food segment, including McDonald's and Wendy's.

    But, at their hearts, the bone-in chicken chains will always be archrivals, and Popeyes' grab of all these dead KFCs has to be hitting a nerve.

    NOW SEE: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants In America >

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