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Kentucky Fried Chicken

Type Public
Founded Salt Lake City, Utah
Location Louisville, Kentucky
Key people Col. Harland Sanders
Industry Restaurants
Products Fast food, including chicken and related Southern foods
Employees 750,000
A portrait of Col. Harland Sanders.

A portrait of Col. Harland Sanders.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is a division of Yum! Brands, Inc., and is based in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Originally founded by Col. Harland Sanders, KFC is known mainly for its fried chicken, which is usually served in a bucket.

Col. Sanders originally began selling his chicken at his gas station in 1939 in Corbin, Kentucky and later at a motel. He closed it down in the late 1940s when the Interstate freeway bypassed the town. In the early 1950s he began to travel the United States and he met Pete Harman in Salt Lake City, Utah and together they opened the world's first Kentucky Fried Chicken (his gas station and motel did not bear that name) in 1952. Sanders sold the entire KFC franchise in 1964 for $2 million, and it has since been sold three more times, most recently to PepsiCo, who made it part of their Tricon Global Restaurants division, now known as Yum! Brands, Inc. In 1997, Tricon was spun-off from PepsiCo.



The company adopted the abbreviated form of its name in 1991 for three reasons: to de-emphasize chicken (since the chain was moving to offering other foods), to avoid the unhealthy connotations of the word 'fried', and because a shorter name was considered more appealing to the youth market. [2] In 2004 the company tried to further re-brand itself, featuring the term "Kitchen Fresh Chicken" in its advertisements (and noting in the fine print that its freshness claim does not apply to the chicken wings).

In April 2005, KFC opened a new restaurant in its hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, under the original name of Kentucky Fried Chicken and plans to add at least 50 more.

In French-speaking Quebec, Canada, KFC is known as PFK (Poulet Frit Kentucky); this is one of the few instances in which the KFC initialism is changed for the local language.


KFC fried chicken and french fries.The Colonel's secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices remains one of the best-kept trade secrets in business. The original, handwritten recipe is locked securely in a vault in Louisville, with partial copies stored elsewhere as backup. The two suppliers of the seasonings each only provide parts of the recipe, and do not know each other's identity. Not even the company's president knows the ingredient list, and the few people who do are subject to a strict confidentiality agreement. Several people have contacted KFC, claiming to have found copies of the recipe, but KFC claims that none have been correct. A couple who purchased the Colonel's original home found another handwritten recipe in the basement, and, although it was written by Sanders, it was determined to be nothing like the original.

However, author William Poundstone, in his 1985 book "Big Secrets", claimed that a chemical test revealed that the ingredients of the coating amount to nothing more than salt, ground black pepper, flour, and MSG. KFC continues to insist that their recipe has eleven herbs and spices.

It is known that part of what gives KFC chicken its unique taste is that, after being coated, it is cooked in hot oil in a pressure cooker instead of a conventional deep fryer.

KFC in front of Keihan Moriguchi City station, Osaka, Japan

KFC in front of Keihan Moriguchi City station, Osaka, Japan

Beyond the fried chicken, KFC also serves side-dishes like coleslaw, various potato-based items (including french fries, potato wedges, and whipped (mashed) potatoes with gravy), corn on the cob and biscuits. KFC also offers other entreés such as Popcorn Chicken, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, pork ribs and a variety of desserts – though not all may be found in all locations, particularly in non-US locations. Some sides are also unique and available only in a particular region.

KFC is also currently experimenting with pot pies and boneless and roasted chicken in addition to its core food offering.


In New Zealand, television advertisements for the chain featured the slogan "Kiwi For Chicken". In 2002 Greenpeace created a fake website dubbing KFC "Kiwi For Cheapskates", and KFC responded with a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) on a news website which had run ads linking to that fake site. [3]

On October 16, 2003, Playboy model and actress Pamela Anderson joined PETA in their animal rights campaign against KFC urging consumers to boycott the franchise until better treatment of its chickens is ensured.

World's first franchised KFC in South Salt Lake, Utah, since replaced by a new KFC on the same site

World's first franchised KFC in South Salt Lake, Utah, since replaced by a new KFC on the same site

On June 3, 2004, the FTC and KFC came to a settlement regarding KFC's advertising campaign claiming that "fried chicken can, in fact, be part of a healthy diet." The terms of the agreement were not disclosed; however, the TV commercials stopped airing after the settlement. [4]

On July 20, 2004, PETA released a video of cruelty to chickens taken at Pilgrim's Pride, one of KFC's suppliers in West Virginia. The supplier stated that it would investigate the claims. [5] Pilgrim's Pride fired eleven employees following the release of the video and provided animal cruelty training to its work force, however, none of the employees involved in the incident faced any criminal charges. [6]

On 26 January 2006, Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher refused Pamela Anderson's PETA-backed demand to remove a statue of Colonel Sanders from the Kentucky Capitol Building after Yum! and Churchill Downs announced an agreement that Yum! would become the main sponsor of the Kentucky Derby. A few days later, Anderson announced she would not attend the horse race again.

A few countries have discovered that the MSG levels in KFC foods exceeded their regulations (such as India). Some scientists believe that MSG is a health hazard, and KFC was often put on the top of high MSG foods to avoid (an average 2% MSG was found in most analysis).


  • Let's do lunch!
  • There's fast food, then there's KFC.
  • Life ain't funny with an empty tummy - Thank goodness for Kentucky Fried! (1970s - New Zealand)
  • Today's KFC - I like it like that! (early 1990s - Australia and New Zealand)
  • KFC - Kiwi For Chicken (2005 - New Zealand)
  • Soul Food (2005 - UK)
  • Finger lickin' good!
  • Nobody Does Chicken Like KFC! (Australia Singapore and UK)
  • The secret's in the taste! (UK)
  • Can't Beat that Taste! (2005/06 - Australia and New Zealand)
  • Everybody Needs a little KFC. (1990's - United States)
  • We do chicken right! (1980s)
  • If you want Kentucky Fried Chicken you have to come to me. (1970s)
  • Chicken Capital USA (2005 - United States)
  • KFC that's where I want to be!
  • KFC - Kapag Fried Chicken [translated in English as "If it's fried chicken..."] (2004-present - Philippines)
  • Whats Cookin (2003-2004)
  • We know what to do with chicken. (2005 - The Netherlands)
  • Real meals, easy as KFC. (1990s - Canada)
  • There's More In the Bucket (2003 - Canada)
  • Picnic Now! (Summer 2005 - Canada)
  • Come Home with KFC (2005/06 - Canada)
    • The Canadian slogans change with the seasons. "Picnic Now!" is used in summer, when there are more picnics.
  • KFC - Thes ki esi (θες κι εσύ)= you want it, too. Which rhymes in greek. Greece around 2000
  • Cross the Road Jack, Kentucky Fried Chicken's got more got more got more got more (1987)
  • Damn Good Chicken - (Czech Republic)
  • Real Goodness from Kentucky Fried Chicken! (Mid 1970s)

Countries with KFC

A KFC franchise in Kuwait

A KFC franchise in Kuwait

Country Notes
Andorra Andorra Only has 2 outlets, one in the Capitial Andorra La Vella, another one in Escaldes.
Aruba Aruba  
Australia Australia  
Austria Austria  
Bahrain Bahrain  
Barbados Barbados  
Brazil Brazil  
Bulgaria Bulgaria  
Canada Canada  
Chile Chile  
China China  
Colombia Colombia  
Costa Rica Costa Rica  
Cyprus Cyprus  
Czech Republic Czech Republic  
Denmark Denmark  
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic  
Ecuador Ecuador  
El Salvador El Salvador  
Egypt Egypt  
France France  
Germany Germany  
Greece Greece  
Guyana Guyana  
Honduras Honduras  
Hong Kong Hong Kong  
Hungary Hungary  
Iceland Iceland  
India India  
Indonesia Indonesia  
Ireland Ireland  
Israel Israel  
Jamaica Jamaica  
Japan Japan  
Jordan Jordan  
Korea Korea  
Kuwait Kuwait  
Lebanon Lebanon  
Malaysia Malaysia  
Malta Malta  
Mauritius Mauritius  
Mexico Mexico  
Namibia Namibia  
Netherlands Netherlands  
New Zealand New Zealand  
Pakistan Pakistan  
Panama Panama  
Peru Peru  
Philippines Philippines  
Poland Poland  
Portugal Portugal  
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico  
Qatar Qatar  
Romania Romania  
Russia Russia  
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia  
Singapore Singapore  
South Africa South Africa  
Spain Spain  
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka  
St. Lucia St. Lucia  
Taiwan Taiwan  
Thailand Thailand  
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago  
Turkey Turkey  
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates  
United Kingdom United Kingdom  
United States United States in addition to the initial franchises.
Venezuela Venezula  
Vietnam Vietnam  
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe  

Industrial relations

Balmoral KFC workers and allies picket the store.

Balmoral KFC workers and allies picket the store.

KFC employs a high proportion of young and unskilled workers, and frequently pays at or just above minimum wages. Most KFC workers are not unionized.

In New Zealand, KFC youth workers earn NZ$7.13 an hour. Staff at the Balmoral, Auckland store went on strike for two hours on 3 December 2005 after Restaurant Brands, the franchise holder, offered no wage increase in contract negotiations. [7] On February 22, 2006, a rolling strike with flying pickets ground four stores to a halt (Balmoral, Massey, Manukau and Lincoln Road) in a day of action against youth rates, supporting Green MP Sue Bradford's bill to outlaw pay discrimination against young workers. This Campaign is led by and the Unite Union. In March 2006, Restaurant Brands agreed to phase out youth rates in New Zealand, although no date was set.

In Australia many KFC stores are covered by an enterprise bargaining agreement with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). Despite this, their wages are barely above the Award rate of pay.

In Calgary, a KFC outlet was forced to close temporarliy due to lack of staffing because of a labor shortage.


A KFC employee in standard uniform, circa 2003.

A KFC employee in standard uniform, circa 2003.

  • Wendy's restaurants founder Dave Thomas operated several Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises before starting Wendy's restaurants. He also invented the rotating-bucket-of-chicken sign that at one time was outside every KFC.
  • KFC is one of the most popular fast food restaurants in China. Local menu items include egg tarts, and lotus root salad.
  • KFC's success in the 1970s influenced the first Muppet Movie where Kermit is being hunted down by a KFC-parodied franchise: "Doc Hopper's French-Fried Frog Legs".
  • KFC originally introduced its "Popcorn Chicken" snack in the early 1990s but discontinued it after several customers complained of sickness upon eating the food, which consisted primarily of chicken skin. In the early 2000s, it reintroduced the snack, now complete with more meat attached. [citation needed]
  • KFC was mentioned in the Mike Myers comedy film So I Married an Axe Murderer; according to the character of Stuart McKenzie (played by Myers himself), Colonel Sanders was not only involved as part of a theoretical "Pentavirate" that controlled every form of media in the world, but also placed an addictive chemical in his chicken that caused eaters to crave it "fortnightly".
  • Some "KFC Express" outlets can be found in suburban strip malls, often combined with other Yum!-brand franchises such as Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
  • Separately-owned stores in Springfield, Massachusetts, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Baltimore, Maryland, Chester, Pennsylvania, and Brooklyn, New York are named "Kennedy Fried Chicken," an obvious reference to its mainstream competitor.
  • In the UK numerous restaurants can be found that take the same approach, using many of the KFC brand elements in a slightly altered form, with names such as LFC, MFC, PFC, FCKF, and FCUK, moving on to such diverse guises as Kansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, or Kennedy Fried Chicken (see above) and then the more unusual hybrids such as Hentucky, Dixy, Dallas, Texas, Texa, Tex-Ess and Kenssy Fried Chicken. Examples include YFC in Leeds UK - Yorkshire fried chicken, HFC in Middlesbrough UK - Halal Fried Chicken, Krunchy Fried Chicken in Liverpool. See British fried chicken outlets for more info and a link to a website with pictures of several such eateries.
  • In Taiwan and Malaysia, there exists a KLG, which stands for 卡啦鸡 in Chinese. KLG are the initials of the Chinese words. The store also uses KFC elements in an altered form. For example, the lettering is of the same font and color as KFC. One visible difference is that their logo is that of a rather plump chicken wearing a bow tie, instead of Colonel Sanders.
  • In addition to Pamela Anderson, celebrities who have come out in protest of KFC's treatment of chickens include Richard Pryor, Dick Gregory, and Bea Arthur.
  • The Neil Gaiman book American Gods references the classic KFC urban legend as to why the company changed its name. According to Low-Key Liesmith, the main character's cellmate, KFC was legally forced to remove the word 'chicken' from their name as the meat they served was no longer technically chicken, but was grown in a genetically engineered chickenoid meat-plant.
  • The first KFC restaurant to open in the UK was in Preston, Lancashire.
  • In Japan, the Colonel is known as "Mister Fried Chicken."
The "secret message" as it appears about 2/3 the way through the commercial.

The "secret message" as it appears about 2/3 the way through the commercial.

  • In February of 2006 a television advertisement was released with a "secret message" that flashed on the screen for a split second. The message reads "Go to, enter the secret code: "Buffalo" Get a coupon for a FREE BUFFALO SNACKER" The advertisement is available here.
  • Despite having the state of Kentucky's name in the franchise name, a slight remix of "Sweet Home Alabama" by rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd has been used for the background music of KFC's United States ads since late 2005.
  • In 2005-6 KFC Hawaii broadcast a popular commercial [8] for its local market that was a spoof of the television series Lost; like the series, the commercial is shot on location on a Hawaii beach, and lampoons the show's emphasis on the significance of certain numbers
  • In the 2002 movie 24 Hour Party People,Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder exclaims he will be going for a "Kentucky" after discoering the food at a business meeting to be unfullfilling. He is seen later walking down the street carrying a red bucket while imitating a chicken. This is an obvious reference to KFC.

See also

KFC restaurant in Cupertino, California.

KFC restaurant in Cupertino, California.

External links

Official sites


Yum! Brands, Inc.
Pizza Hut | Taco Bell | KFC | A&W Restaurants | Long John Silver's

Source: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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