750 KFCs in Britain closed because they ran out of chicken

  • About 80% of Britain’s KFC locations are closed because of a lack of chicken.
  • New distributors working for KFC have been unable to get sufficient chicken to 750 restaurants across the UK.
  • KFC has promised that “the Colonel is working on it” – but there is no indication of when the stores will reopen.

Seven hundred and fifty KFC outlets across the UK have been closed after a change in food distributors led to a chicken shortage for the company.

More than 80% of all KFCs in Britain have been forced to close because the delivery company that recently took over the job of getting chickens to each restaurant has been unable to deliver.

KFC swapped deliverers from Bidvest Group to DHL last week, causing what the fried-chicken empire called “teething problems.” It has since set up a website where people can find their nearest open outlet, and it promised that “the Colonel is working on it.”

The number of KFCs that shut down because of the crisis came from GMB, a trade union whose members worked for the Bidvest Group. KFC declined to give Business Insider a figure.

KFC wrote on Saturday: “The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants.

“We won’t compromise on quality, so no deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed, and others are operating a limited menu, or shortened hours.”

The GMB says DHL is “not geared up” to deliver chicken around the country.

DHL has one distribution depot, while Bidvest had multiple ones around the country, GMB’s national officer Mick Rix told Business Insider.

Rix added: “What that means is all the orders from across the UK are going to one site, and DHL’s systems are not geared up to handling hundreds of orders for the UK.”

DHL’s distribution center for KFC is in Rugby, a town in central England. As shown in the map below, KFC operates outlets across the country as far as Elgin in Scotland and Penzance in southern England.

Rugby is some 370 miles from Elgin and 250 miles from Penzance.

KFC and DHL depotGoogle Map/Business InsiderThis map shows KFC’s northernmost and southernmost outlets in the UK and the chain’s distribution center in Rugby.

KFC operates 900 outlets in the UK, meaning 750 closings would account for 80% of its stores.

It’s unclear when the delivery problems will be rectified,KFC told the BBC.

Rix added in a statement on Monday night: “We tried to warn KFC this decision would have consequences – well now the chickens are coming home to roost.

“Three weeks ago KFC knew they had made a terrible mistake, but by then it was too late.”

Rix added that 255 GMB members, who are specially trained in food distribution, have lost their jobs as a result of the change in distributor.

People across the UK tweeted of their outrage over the news. One called it “a sign of the apocalypse.” The BBC also described the news as a “chicken chaos.”


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