From KFC, a 3-Letter Apology for Its U.K. Chicken Crisis

The KFC ad was headlined “We’re sorry,” while acknowledging the chain’s bizarre plight. “A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal,” the advertisement read. “It’s been a hell of a week.”

But if its supply chain is a mess, the chain’s wordplay game is strong. In a statement, KFC said the ad was a “tongue-in-cheek rearrangement of our brand name intended to indicate our first thought when we realized the impact of our closed restaurants on customers in the U.K.”

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From KFC, a 3-Letter Apology for Its U.K. Chicken Crisis
From KFC, a 3-Letter Apology for Its U.K. Chicken Crisis

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The ad was in keeping with the public-relations approach that had been employed ever since the scale of the supply-chain snafu made itself apparent. It made light of the situation earlier by posting a riddle known to every schoolchild — “Why did the chicken cross the road?” — and answering in a way that reflected its nearly existential crisis.

“The chicken crossed the road,” it said. “Just not to our restaurants.”

The company’s officials have attributed the chaos to problems after KFC switched its delivery contract to DHL, leading to a logistical failure in Britain, is the fifth-biggest market for KFC.

Distributing fresh chicken to restaurants across Britain, the company said, “is pretty complex.”

Risky ad strategies aside, things have been getting back to normal. As of Friday, about 800 of the 900 KFC restaurants in Britain and Ireland were open, although the disruptions — including stores closing, operating with shorter hours or offering a reduced menu — would continue through the weekend. A list of open KFC restaurants was being updated on its website every 15 minutes.

As for the aggrieved customer who was forced to resort to a burger chain, KFC is working on that, too.

The horror . We would like to locate this lady. We have one Ricebox left at Head Office and it has her name on it.

— KFC UK & Ireland (@KFC_UKI) Feb. 21, 2018

Follow Michael Wolgelenter on Twitter: @mwolgelenter.

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