KFC Story: History, Challenges and Current Status | Analytics Steps (2024)

KFC, the most famous food store for chicken lovers. Whenever we think of fried chicken wings our brain immediately takes us to the KFC outlets. Want to know the interesting story behind KFC? So, here is an incredible story behind the success of KFC and the story of the founder is very interesting as well.

There are some entrepreneurial myths like you have to start at a very young age to become a successful entrepreneur. But, the owner of KFC has proved this myth wrong. Once Dallas Clayton said, “It’s never too late to start something new, to do all those things that you’ve been longing to do.” Now, you can see how this proverb stands perfect for the owner of KFC. Thus, in the blog, you will learn about the journey of the owner of this successful food store 'Colonel Harland Sanders'.

"MTV is to music as KFC is to chicken!" ~ Lewis Black

So, let's scan the blog to know the inspirational startup story of KFC. Also, you will get to know about its founder, its history, startup challenges, some secrets of its success, its present reputation, and many more latest updates related to your favourite food store 'KFC'.

Who is the founder of KFC?

The founder of KFC is the one who is among the entrepreneurs, and who had begun late in life and had a very inspiring life. At the age of 62 when people generally start considering their retirement, Colonel Harland Sanders founded KFC. He was born on 9 September 1890 in Henryville, Indiana, U.S. and at the age of 90, on 16 December 1980, he died in Louisville, Kentucky.

When he was 5 years old, his father passed away. He had the responsibility of feeding his family. His mother taught him how to cook at the early age of seven. So, he did several small jobs to make a living. However, when he was around forty he ran a restaurant in Kentucky. He had a special self-made recipe of fried chicken that was loved by people. He wanted to make it an internationally known recipe.

Finally, at the age of 62, he started his journey with very little money in his pocket. He would go door to door with his chicken recipe. He was rejected several times before he got his first franchise. So, this is the small journey of Harland Sanders towards this huge franchise KFC. Also, Pete Harman who was an American businessman was known for having struck a pact with Colonel Harland Sanders to open the first KFC franchise. (Related Blog: Read this blog to know about the success story of OLA.)

History of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

People are crazy about KFC's chicken so after reading this blog, definitely, they will go to KFC. So, let's have a glimpse at the history of KFC in detail.

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken, or as we know it today- KFC, started in 1952 in Utah.

  • In July 1940, Harland created his unique recipe with 11 herbs and some flavours.

  • Harland Sanders had gone through a lot and finally, he revealed his secret recipe to his friend Pete Harman.

  • Pete was the operator of one of that city’s biggest restaurants and with Pete's help, Harland opened his first KFC franchise.

  • Many international restaurants wanted to buy the KFC franchise. A lot of big investors started buying shares of KFC.

  • Even after the huge success of KFC, Sanders used to visit all the KFC restaurants around the world.

  • One of the fascinating truths that rouse each individual is that he did not have any salesperson that promoted his Franchise. He did everything alone and his franchise got famous.

  • Diverse franchisees began contacting him out. KFC chicken had lots of outlets however didn't have signature outlets.

  • At the point when he was 74, youthful lawyer John Y. Earthy coloured, Jr. from Kentucky and Jack Massey meet Colonel Sanders to buy the organization. Both comforted Colonel for a long time with the guarantee to keep up better quality control for the franchise.

  • They likewise guarantee to never change the recipe of Colonel. It was a simple choice for Colonel Sanders.

  • He toured to every part of the nation to look for the best guidance about selling his organization from franchisees members and business partners.

  • Finally, he understood that the organization is hard to develop and control alone. So, in 1964 he agreed to sell his organization with a proposal of $ 2 million.

  • He was not at all happy with this deal as it was one of the most vital and significant things throughout his life.

  • The new proprietor of KFC accepted that the face of Sander's was perhaps the best resource for the "KFC brand".

  • He was kept as a brand ambassador and for the role of brand ambassador and representative, he gets a lifetime pay of about $40,000 every year.

So, that's how he became the brand ambassador of KFC. Even now, we can see his picture in the logo of KFC.

What were the Startup Challenges?

You have likely consumed KFC at least once in your lifetime. KFC is very popular all over the world. So, let's read about the startup challenges faced by the owner of KFC. Have you ever been rejected again and again? If yes, then have you tried again and again or just gave up? So, the founder of your favourite restaurant KFC Harland Sanders faced this same situation. But, he took his failure as a chance and gave rise to the best chicken store. He concentrated on the fried chicken when there was the dominance of hamburgers.

"Leslie entered the lounge like a taller, studlier version of the Kentucky Fried Chicken colonel"- Douglas Coupland

After the death of his father, he was forced to work for his family as he was the elder among his siblings. He got fired from his job several times and he had a very tough time during his childhood. But, after confronting difficulties he came up with a very incredible idea of frying chicken. His recipe was unique and after opening one store, he finally got success. There were so many startup challenges faced by the owner of KFC but after all complications, he gave us his very delicious fried chicken.

The Concealed Secrets of KFC's Success

The time factor plays a vital role in KFC’s success. Usually, when people go to restaurants, they expect to get their food as early as possible. Sandlers used the pressure cooker to make food ready to eat faster. It also makes food hygienic and tastier. The recipe of fried chicken was made by Colonel Sanders himself. Therefore, it is the copyright of the KFC franchise.

Any other type of chicken cannot match the taste that KFC’s fried chicken has. This recipe cannot be used by any other franchise. Another reason that has led KFC into success is the franchise system followed by KFC restaurants all over the world. There are several rules and regulations for every restaurant which are supposed to be followed at any cost. Some of the rules of the documentation are as follows-

  1. A pressure cooker must be used to cook the chicken. No other utensils should be used.

  2. Also, after the chicken is cooked, it should be left in the cooker for about 15 minutes.

  3. The size and weight of every piece of chicken are fixed. It should be 8cm wide and the weight should be around 300 grams.

"Globalization by the way of McDonald’s and KFC has captured the hearts, the minds, and from what I can see through the window, the growing bellies of the folks here." ~ Raquel Cepeda.

  1. The chicken which is to be used the next day must have gone through overnight marination.

  2. Chicken’s age is fixed between 60-70 days. All these rules have proved to be the major reason behind the success of KFC.

  3. KFC provides employment opportunities for deaf people. Even at some KFC outlets, they teach their deaf workers to read lips movements. It helps a lot for deaf people to work and earn for livelihood. ( Related Blog: The tale of Zomato )

Discussing the Current Reputation of KFC

So, want to know the present situation of KFC? Yes! It's still growing day by day. Read further to know the current reputation of KFC.

  • Yum! Brand s is the current parent company of KFC.

  • As of early 2020, there are KFC outlets in 150 countries and territories of the globe.

  • KFC is the globe's second-biggest restaurant chain after McDonald's, with 22,621 areas globally in 150 countries as of December 2019.

  • During this coronavirus pandemic, KFC has decided to remove its slogan "It's Finger-Lickin' Good," from ads. However, KFC is still sticking to its slogan in India.

  • KFC India is trying out edible serving bowls in India to make its products more eco-friendly. Edible bowls made of tortillas (freshly cooked every day) will replace the plastic ones.

  • KFC has announced that they have temporarily cancelled the slogan because of the COVID-19 situation but they will return with the same slogan at the right time.


Hope so, your doubts about the history of KFC, it's concrete secrets behind its success, present status is emptied. Now, we can conclude by saying that Colonel Harland Sanders was one of the people who successfully dealt with his depression. Even, at the age of 62, he started such a great food store which no one can beat even now.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is an extremely popular restaurant in the realm and the story behind the victory of KFC is inspirational. KFC's chicken is different from other stores' chicken and whenever the name chicken comes, the word KFC hits people's minds. The slogan of KFC perfectly matches as after eating KFC's chicken we lick our fingers, yes it is that tasty! Stay tuned with us for Several Startup Stories which will reveal numerous things related to your favourite restaurants and known companies.

KFC Story: History, Challenges and Current Status | Analytics Steps (2024)


What is the story behind KFC? ›

KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders (1890–1980), an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression.

What were the challenges in front of KFC while entering in India? ›

When KFC first entered the Indian market, there were a lot of protests, and the Bangalore outlet was repeatedly ransacked. Many Indians were worried that the Western culture would seep into the Indian roots, leading to the dilution of indigenous traditions.

What is the main activity of KFC? ›

Key Activities

In addition to its restaurants, the Company operates an online ordering system and home delivery service in certain markets. KFC additionally also franchises its restaurants. KFC operates as a unit of Yum Brands since 2002.

How many times did KFC get rejected? ›

The Start of the KFC Franchise

In 1952, the first KFC franchise was awarded to Pete Harman in Salt Lake City, Utah. Interestingly, Sanders' recipe was rejected 1,009 times before anyone accepted it. This never stopped him from believing in his product and his dream.

What is unique about KFC? ›

The KFC secret chicken recipe is kept in a vault at the company's headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. As fans of Kentucky Fried Chicken know, the recipe for the famous fried chicken is locked up in a reinforced vault. It has been there since Colonel Sanders was alive. It is known that only two people know the recipe.

How did KFC overcome their challenges? ›

But, after confronting difficulties he came up with a very incredible idea of frying chicken. His recipe was unique and after opening one store, he finally got success. There were so many startup challenges faced by the owner of KFC but after all complications, he gave us his very delicious fried chicken.

What are the challenges faced by fast food industry? ›

Study reveals the five biggest challenges faced by fast food restaurants
  • Covid-19 regulatory requirements.
  • The rise of home delivery.
  • Equipment malfunctions.
  • Training and staff turnover.
16 Feb 2022

What is the competitive strategy of KFC? ›

Evidently, KFC's strategy is to focus on the international franchising by dominating the global market. Focus was placed on how their meals can meet the ever-changing taste and preferences of the market they serve. The gain here is that, they can capture the global QSR market.

What factors have made KFC successful? ›

KFC serves its customer fast, saving their time which encourages consumer to come to its services again and again. Retention of customer is higher in KFC and it is one of the major reasons behind the success of KFC. Along with that technology has also contributed towards the success of KFC.

What is the mission and vision statement of KFC? ›

KFC's Vision Statement

"To provide food in a quick, pleasant setting that caters to cost-conscious, health-conscious people," says the KFC vision statement. The KFC vision statement addresses a variety of strategic planning.

What information system does KFC use? ›

What Point of Sale System Does KFC Use? In the United States, KFC is owned by Yum! and currently uses Oracle's MICROS RES POS system. This is a highly intelligent system which has helped to enhance customer experience, and speed up transactions across KFC's restaurants.

Why is KFC successful globally? ›

Their global marketing strategy centers around localization – each country with KFC locations has a localized menu that caters directly to unique local tastes and preferences. There are unique KFC menu items [3] around the world.

Who is KFC's target audience? ›

“Our target audience tends to be young adults and busy families who are becoming more and more reliant on their mobile devices to make their lives easier.

Which self made billionaire was rejected for a job at KFC? ›

Jack Ma, finger lickin' good.

When Chinese internet tycoon Jack Ma was starting his career, he reportedly got rejected by dozens of employers, among them Kentucky Fried Chicken, which had recently entered China at the time. He later went on to become China's richest person, founding e-commerce giant Alibaba.

How has technology affected KFC? ›

AWS serverless infrastructure has allowed KFC to create a highly scalable, quick-to-market digital platform. It gives us the ability to develop applications and services quickly and also gives us the flexibility and agility to adapt quickly within the quick-service restaurant market.

How does KFC maintain its competitive advantage? ›

A superior customer experience depends on several factors including customer service, product quality, marketing, technology and in-store experience. KFC has focused on all these areas to offer its customers a superior experience. Its focus on customer experience has transformed into higher sales and superior growth.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of KFC? ›

The benefits to the KFC Company's is that they can make products with the fact to meet the needs of consumers. The disadvantage of the KFC is that they have to bear in mind what consumers will think of their products, and that can be benefit them. Stakeholder is anyone with an interest in a business.

How does KFC benefit the society? ›

Myth: Only KFC benefits from Add Hope donations? Facts: We partner with over 140 non-profit organisations like Jam, Afrika Tikkun and SOS Children's Villages, as well as smaller organisations in local communities. The money goes to them so that they can feed the children nutritious meals in the communities they serve.

What is KFC doing to be sustainable? ›

It also extends KFC's ongoing commitment to reducing its impact on the environment; including the opening of the first KFC LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified store in 2013 and the 'Do the Right Thing, Use the Right Bin' initiative, which has seen recycling bins installed in 185 KFC stores ...

What are the causes of KFC chicken crisis? ›

Apart from this, KFC has got hit in terms of brand reputation as customers were very agitated by this closure of stores. The primary reason for these troubles was inefficacy of the logistics network. KFC contracted DHL to deliver the chicken but DHL was not able to deliver the chicken in time to KFC stores.

How does KFC deal with poverty? ›

All proceeds raised through Add Hope go directly to non-profit organisations (NPOs) which use this money to provide underprivileged children with the vital nutrition they need to break the cycle of childhood hunger.

What are the three biggest challenges of the food system? ›

Food systems around the world face a triple challenge of providing food security and nutrition to a growing global population, providing livelihoods to those along the food supply chain, and contributing to environmental sustainability.

What are the 8 main challenges to food security? ›

Here are some challenges to consider:
  • Rising population. ...
  • Rising incomes, changing diets. ...
  • Falling water tables. ...
  • More foodless days. ...
  • Slowing irrigation. ...
  • Increasing soil erosion. ...
  • Climate change. ...
  • Melting water reserves.
15 Oct 2013

What are the 4 major competitive strategies? ›

4 Types of Competitive Strategies
  • Cost leadership strategy. It suits large businesses that can produce a big volume of products at a low cost, and that is why Walmart implemented this strategy. ...
  • Differentiation leadership strategy. ...
  • Cost focus strategy. ...
  • Differentiation focus strategy.
15 Jul 2022

What are the 3 basic competitive strategies? ›

According to Porter's Generic Strategies model, there are three basic strategic options available to organizations for gaining competitive advantage. These are: Cost Leadership, Differentiation and Focus.

What are the five basic competitive strategies? ›

Here are five types of competitive strategy and an example for each:
  • Cost leadership. ...
  • Product differentiation. ...
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) ...
  • Cost focus. ...
  • Commitment to customers strategy.
16 Nov 2021

How does KFC maintain quality? ›

From farm to restaurant

Each KFC restaurant receives deliveries three times a week which ensures our products are always fresh. Every KFC restaurant is audited five times a year by an independent auditor to make sure our teams are adhering to and maintaining the strictest health and safety procedures.

What are some examples of a mission statement? ›

12 Examples of the Best Mission Statements
  • “To inspire humanity — both in the air and on the ground.”
  • “To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.”
  • “Spread ideas.”
  • “To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
13 Feb 2020

What is the organizational culture of KFC? ›

Qualities inside the KFC's organizational culture

The KFC's fundamental beliefs are the common objectives, standards and principles. These fundamental beliefs are responsibility, decent variety, quality, joint effort, enthusiasm, honesty and administration.

How does KFC collect data? ›

What data we collectin' and how we usin' it? In a nutshell, we scoop our data when you interact with us online. When you're browsing our website, using our KFC app, having a lol at our social media, connecting to instore WiFi or placing online orders.

What management theory does KFC use? ›

Learning and Mentoring Theories

As it stands, the majority of KFC processes use the behaviorism theory to formulate a training strategy for its employees.

What information systems are used in restaurants? ›

Below, you'll find out what they do and some of the best vendors to use across many areas of your restaurant, including:
  • Restaurant customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
  • Point of sale (POS) systems.
  • Reservation platforms.
  • Table management systems.
  • Waitlist management solutions.
  • Payment processors.
30 Jul 2021

What two steps have been key to KFC's global success? ›

Developing a vast supply chain Organisation. Imparting extensive training in customer services.

How does KFC promote and advertise their products? ›

The food items sold in India are highly affordable. KFC promotes itself through multiple mediums like TV, social media, News Papers, and more. However, it is still lagging on sponsoring huge events. The products sold in different countries have different pricing.

When did KFC become successful? ›

KFC popularized chicken in the fast food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. In 1960 the company had around 200 franchised restaurants; by 1963 this had grown to over 600, making it the largest fast food operation in the United States.

What is KFC brand personality? ›

KFC's vision is to be the leading integrated food services group in the world based on consistent quality products and exceptional customer-focused service.

What are the marketing objectives of KFC? ›

The stages involved in Marketing

The SMART objectives of KFC are to provide quality food for their customers, being able to maintain their businesses reputation through providing a good service and increase in profit.

What pricing strategy does KFC use? ›

Price Strategy of KFC

Pricing strategy is the strategy used by firms to set the prices of their goods so that they can capture the attention of the market effectively and efficiently. KFC uses a discriminating pricing policy with all its products. The products are of different pricing and ratings.

How a failed student made $38 billion after being rejected by KFC? ›

Jack Ma's life is perhaps the greatest example of success through failure. He failed primary school twice and middle school three times. He also failed his university entry exam three times. He was rejected by the police force and even KFC.

Which company rejected Steve Jobs? ›

Back between 1993 and 1995, Apple developed a device called the VideoPad, but it could not convince Steve Jobs, who just returned in 1997 to take the reins of the company.

What is KFC net worth? ›

In 2020, the KFC brand was valued at just over 5.4 billion U.S. dollars, up from the previous year's total of 5.11 billion U.S. dollars.
Brand value of Kentucky Fried Chicken worldwide from 2010 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
CharacteristicBrand value in billion U.S. dollars
11 more rows
3 Nov 2021

Is the KFC movie based on a true story? ›

Staring Mario Lopez as Harland Sanders, this 15-minute movie is sure to make people crave for some KFC. As it must be clear by now, A Recipe for Seduction is neither a long-form film nor a real story.

Why the logo of KFC is red? ›

It has a simplistic appeal to consumers. KFC started to grow and develop changing with the times and the demands of the costumers making them well known for their logo and delicious food. The Bright red color used in the logos brings a sense of warmth to the Colonels face which is inviting to consumers.

Why does KFC run from chicken? ›

First it was supermarkets that saw empty shelves, and now it's fast-food franchises feeling the strain. KFC has run into chicken shortages as a result of supply chain issues.

Who is the dude in the KFC logo? ›

Colonel Harland David Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980) was an American businessman, best known for founding fast food chicken restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (also known as KFC) and later acting as the company's brand ambassador and symbol.

Who is the KFC dancing man? ›

It'll take you several double takes to realize this man was, in fact, Sexy Colonel Sanders.

How long is a recipe for seduction KFC? ›

A Recipe for Seduction
EditorAngela Cheng
Running time15 minutes
Production companiesJEAN Kentucky Fried Chicken
11 more rows

Where is the KFC guy buried? ›

Located in Kentucky's Cave Hill Cemetery, the grave of Colonel Harland Sanders, one of the most recognizable mascots in the entire world, honors the chicken man with a bust sculpted by his very own daughter.

Why is KFC meat pink? ›

Someone else said: 'Looks fine to me and looks cooked. The reason this happens is probably down to the youngness of the chickens they use. 'Young chickens have thin and brittle bones and as such myoglobin leaks into the chicken and cartilage and looks red. It's fine.

What does KFC tagline mean? ›

From the advertising slogan “It's finger-lickin' good” adopted by the U.S. fast-food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC) in 1956, referring to the fact that something eaten with the hands is so delicious that one cannot help but lick one's fingers to savour the crumbs of food or juices left behind.

Why did KFC change their Colour to green? ›

A KFC store in Atlanta has turned green as the chain begins trialing its plant-based chicken from Beyond Meat.

What is KFC chicken injected with? ›

According to a Reuters exposé, Koch Foods, reported to be a KFC supplier, used medically important antibiotics, including virginiamycin, in the production of its chicken. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization consider virginiamycin “highly important” to human medicine.

What makes KFC chicken different? ›

From farm to restaurant

The chicken is then individually hand breaded and rolled into our secret combination of 11 herbs and spices recipe before being fried at a minimum of 180 degrees Celsius, ensuring every piece of chicken is golden, crispy deliciousness.

Where does KFC get their meat? ›

We use 100 percent real chicken raised on U.S. farms. Our chicken is USDA inspected for quality before it can be delivered to our kitchens.

Who is on the KFC Cup 2022? ›

KFC is teaming up with Kentucky native and multiple-Grammy nominated rapper Jack Harlow for the introduction of Jack Harlow's Kentucky Fried Favorites on the KFC app and KFC.com starting March 24, 2022.

What is the KFC red color? ›

The KFC Logo is predominantly red and white, and features light beige to represent The Colonel's skin tone.
KFC Logo Color Palette (Hex and RGB)
#ffffffKFC White Hex: #ffffff RGB: 255, 255, 255
#a3080cKFC Red Hex: #a3080c RGB: 163, 8, 12
2 more rows
27 Feb 2017

Can I use the KFC logo? ›

Neither the Logo nor the KFC name may be used in any other company name, product name, service name, domain name, franchisee sites, publication title, or the like. 10. Non-KFC materials should not mimic any KFC advertising, product packaging, or website design.

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