1952 to Present
The WorldKFC (short for Kentucky Fried Chicken) is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, that specializes in fried chicken. It is the world's second-largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales) after McDonald's, with 22,621 locations globally in 150 countries as of December 2019.The chain is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and WingStreet chains.
In 1939, the first commercial pressure cookers were released onto the market, mostly designed for steaming vegetables. And as Sanders was not was unhappy with the 35 minutes it took to prepare his chicken, he bought one of the pressure cookers and modified it into a pressure fryer, which he then used to fry chicken. The new method reduced production time to be comparable with deep frying, while, in the opinion of Sanders, retaining the quality of pan-fried chicken.
In 1952, Sanders had already franchised his recipe to his friend Pete Harman of South Salt Lake, Utah, the operator of one of the city's largest restaurants. Soon after, Don Anderson, a sign painter hired by Harman, coined the name "Kentucky Fried Chicken". For Harman, the addition of KFC was a way of differentiating his restaurant from competitors; a product from Kentucky was exotic and evoked imagery of Southern hospitality.
In 1955, Sanders sold his properties and traveled the US to franchise his chicken recipe to restaurant owners. Independent restaurants would pay four (later five) cents on each chicken as a franchise fee, in exchange for Sanders' secret blend of herbs and spices and the right to feature his recipe on their menus and use his name and likeness for promotional purposes.
Harman trademarked the phrase "It's finger lickin' good", which eventually became the company-wide slogan. And in 1957 he also introduced the bucket meal, 14 pieces of chicken, five bread rolls, and a pint of gravy in a cardboard bucket. Serving their signature meal in a paper bucket was to become an iconic feature of the company.
England had the first overseas branch of KFC which opened in Preston, Lancashire in May 1965, and was the first American fast-food restaurant chain in the country, pre-dating the arrival of McDonald's, Burger King and Pizza Hut by almost a decade.
In Pakistan, the first outlet of KFC was opened in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, in 1997. But now KFC exists in 31 major cities of Pakistan with more than 92 outlets nationwide, out of which 22 are in Karachi, and 17 are in Lahore. KFC in Pakistan introduced a new food item named "Zingeratha" which is a fusion of Zinger and Paratha, a traditional food of Pakistan.
On 16 December 1980, his promotional work making him a prominent figure in American cultural history. By the time of his death, there were an estimated 6,000 KFC outlets in 48 different countries worldwide, with $2 billion of sales annually.
In 1991, the KFC name was officially adopted, although it was already widely known by that initialism but was officially called Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kyle Craig, president of KFC US, admitted the change was an attempt to distance the chain from the unhealthy connotations of "fried".
The first Indian KFC was a two-story outlet on the fashionable Brigade Road in Bangalore in June 1995. There are 350 KFC outlets in India. The company has adopted the standard KFC offerings to Indian tastes and the menu options in India include the Hot & Crispy Chicken and Fiery Grilled bucket options, Chicken Zinger, Krushers, Rice Bowlz, and the more recently launched 5-in-1 Meal Box.
In August 1997, PepsiCo spun off its restaurant division as a public company valued at US$4.5 billion. The new company was named Tricon Global Restaurants, and by that time it had 30,000 outlets and annual sales of US$10 billion, making it second in the world only to McDonald's.
In December 2012, the chain faced allegations that some of its suppliers injected antiviral drugs and growth hormones into poultry in ways that violated food safety regulations. This resulted in the chain severing its relationship with 100 suppliers, and agreeing to "actively co-operate" with a government investigation into its use of antibiotics. KFC China sales in January 2013 were down 41 percent against the previous year.
In December 2012, the chain was criticized in China when it was discovered that a number of KFC suppliers had been using growth hormones and an excessive amount of antibiotics on its poultry in ways that violated Chinese law. And admitted by Yum! CEO David Novak, this scandal had a strong impact on store sales.
In July 2014, Chinese authorities closed down the Shanghai operations of the OSI Group, amidst allegations that it had supplied KFC with expired meat. Yum! immediately terminated its contract with the supplier, and stated that the revelation had led to a "significant and negative" decline in sales.
By 2015, the company was struggling, having lost business to other retailers and being surpassed by Chick-fil-A as the leading chicken retailer in the U.S. three years previously. To combat this, the company launched a new initiative with a plan to revamp its packaging, decor, and uniforms, as well as expanding its menu, along with some advertisements that included actors like Darrell, HammondNorm Macdonald, Jim Gaffigan, George Hamilton, and Rob Riggle that portrayed Colonel Sanders.
As of 2018, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd, the shareholder of the company in Malaysia is also responsible on managing 810 KFC outlets across Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Cambodia, with more than 700 of these outlets are being located domestically in Malaysia, hence making the country one of the largest global market for the fast-food chain.
In March 2020, the restaurant announced that it would be closing all its stores temporarily, in response to lockdown measures during the COVID-19 outbreak. On 15 April 2020, the store announced it would be reopening some stores for delivery services, as well as donating free meals to the NHS.