KFC has unveiled a new look to compete with Chick-fil-A

KFC is getting a makeover.

The chicken chain is now rolling out a new, fast-casual-inspired design that the brand began testing in 2014. Seventy per cent of the brand’s 4,500 restaurants will be be updated by the end of 2017, using a revitalization strategy crafted by FRCH Design Worldwide.

FRCH describes itself as a “global brand experience firm specializing in fast casual concepts,” which has previously worked with brands including McDonald’s, California Pizza Kitchen, and Taco Bell.

The new design is intended to modernize the chain’s appearance, with a cleaner and bolder look. The revamped locations include stark red and white walls, furniture, and decoration.

In addition to traditional tables, FRCH’s prototype also features counter chairs and a semi-circular booth.

The exterior seems calculated to grab potential customers’ attention, with red-and-white stripes, capital letters spelling out the chain’s “WORLD FAMOUS CHICKEN” tagline, and an illustration of Colonel Sanders’ face.

In general, Colonel Sanders is front and center in the revamped locations. FRCH prototypes show quotes by and photos of the Colonel covering the restaurant.

The prominence of Colonel Sanders goes hand-in-hand with KFC’s recent efforts to refocus customers’ attention on the Colonel with an ad campaign starring comedian Norm MacDonald.

According to FRCH, the new look is inspired by Sanders’ first restaurant, opened in 1952.

With Chick-fil-A’s recent expansion and the growth of fast-casual chicken concepts more generally, KFC has realised it needs to evolve with the times. One recent update that illustrates the brand’s effort to attract the fast-casual-loving foodie market: the debut of Nashville Hot Chicken, a flavorful chicken variation based on a Kentucky culinary icon.

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