Washington - "The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants."
So said an announcement Saturday that tried to find humour in KFC's chicken shortage, which has prompted the fast-food chain to temporarily close hundreds of its restaurants in the United Kingdom. KFC said the shortage was caused by "a couple of teething problems" with its new delivery partner, DHL.
"We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over the last few days, and disappoint you when you wanted your fried chicken fix - we're really sorry about that," KFC said Saturday. "Shout out to our restaurant teams who are working flat out to get us back up and running again."
As of Monday, about 300 of KFC's 900 locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are open, according to a list on KFC's website. Some restaurants are operating on a limited menu or shortened hours. It remains unclear when all restaurants will be open.
DHL said that a number of its deliveries had been "incomplete or delayed" because of operational issues, CNN Money reported.
The mishap came just months after KFC partnered with DHL as part of the fast-food chain's ambition to "revolutionise" the food service distribution market in the United Kingdom. A news release from October said DHL will manage KFC's warehouse and distribution service, with a "greater focus on innovation, quality and service performance" and a promise to "provide a faster turnaround of orders."
Some customers aren't happy.
"So we're going have to hit a McDonald's up," says a customer who posted a video on YouTube showing a closed location in Manchester, England. "This is s--- mate. We like our chicken. You know we like our chicken."
Still, KFC assured its customers that "the Colonel is working on it," a lighthearted reference to the late Col. Harland Sanders, the chain's founder.
Sanders acquired a service station in the 1930s in Corbin, Kentucky, and later transformed it into a restaurant, where he cooked his signature fried chicken. He franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952 at the age of 62 and sold it for $2 million 12 years later. Sanders, whose image is featured in KFC's logo, is now known in more than 100 countries for his fried chicken recipe.
KFC is owned by Yum! Brands, a Kentucky-based company that also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
The Washington Post