An anonymous source familiar with the matter tells us that the Oprah/KFC promotion threatens to break the entire, national supply chain of bird. It sounds as though situation is critical.
You are one of the only people on what could be a huge breaking story. I sell product to KFC’s for a living. An insider acquaintence works in IT for Harpo i.e. Oprah.
Here’s why, connect the dots:
1. The number of coupons downloaded exceeded anyones wildest expectations, particularly in urban areas.
2. The traffic took down their servers. [UPDATE: A Source tells us that it was Coupons.com servers that went down. Not Oprah.com, not KFC]
3. The stores cannot cook the product fast enough, sales were up 25-35% BEFORE this.
4. A franchisee today told me KFC is projected to strip their entire supply chain of bird by Saturday. I am not making that up. They are scrambling to source more chicken before Sunday.
5. By Sunday, because its Mothers Day, one of their busiest days of the year. Its possible they could be out of chicken on Mothers Day.
The big O, the godzilla of the airwaves, may have sold all the chicken in the pipeline for YUM brands. Franchisees are melancholy. Its tough on the crew, but they got HUGE exposure. Its a dent in profits with free product, but the new user profile is a dream come true. Great promotion, but its killing a profitable weekend since the timing is lousy.
So it’s clear that KFC has failed the Oprah stress test. The only question: Can they convert fried chicken into grilled chicken in time to satisfy the public… Only time will tell.