The lowdown: #KFCcrisis

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

The lowdown: #KFCcrisis

Related tags: Meat

A cock-up with KFC’s new logistics partner caused a mass chicken shortage that forced 460 of the finger lickin’ good stores to close for almost a week. It caused mass panic, as well as an avalanche of poultry-related puns on social media.

So what you’re saying is, the chickens didn’t cross the roads?
To cut a long story short, KFC decided to switch from Bidwest to the cheaper DHL- a decision that it had apparently been warned might cause problems. The decision meant swapping a supply chain based on six warehouses run by Bidvest for one distribution centre in Rugby. Which hadn’t been ‘registered’. Clearly, the cost saving measure didn’t work. And nobody had any chicken.

Sounds like a post apocalyptic nightmare…
You may well laugh, but the foul-up sparked panic across the country. The police had to reach out on social media, asking worried chicken fans to stop calling 999 because “it is not a police matter if your favourite eatery is not serving the menu that you desire.”- Who knew? One entrepreneurial dad bought four £10 family chicken buckets and sold them for £100 apiece, whilst another found a half-eaten meal in a hotel room and sold it for £2 with a small pot of gravy for £20. Now that’s a mark-up.

Waste not, want not…
Unfortunately, all the chicken that is stuck at the depot is probably going to go to waste. Not even charities will take it, citing food safety concerns.

How have they reacted?
KFC have been remarkably good-spirited throughout the whole thing, having apologised and admitted fault throughout, posting a genius “FCK” campaign today that reads “A chicken restaurant with no chicken. It’s not ideal”. You can’t argue with that.

What about the industry?
Once it got going, the #KFCCrisis started running wild on social media. Other chicken brands like Wing Wing posted tongue-in-cheek stories on Instagram, reminding customers that “KFC might not have chicken, but we do”. One restaurant brand PR tweeted “the whole thing has been good for KFC and good for us lesser mortals such as Chick’n’Sours. Tons of press coverage this week, we couldn’t have paid for it!” Like Oscar Wilde says, there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

Yeah, whatever. Didn’t Wetherspoons run out of steak last month?
Ah… Yes. Nando’s and Wetherspoons had to throw away all their steaks, following another meat scandal.  Customers spat their actually-very-reasonably-priced beers across the bar when they found that even though it was Tuesday, which every ‘Spoons aficionado knows is Steak Club Night, the closest they could get to an Angus steak was a barbecued chicken. “One of their suggestions was a quinoa salad with grilled halloumi,” the Scarborough-based James Jarvis told The Sun. “I came in for a steak — not a poncey salad!” Quite.

What happened?
Food safety inspectors found ‘serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations’ during a spot check at one of Russell Hume’ (Wetherspoon’s meat supplier)’s meat cutting plants. No one knows what they found, but it triggered a major recall of all Russell Hume beef, and was fully documented on Twitter, from members of #steakclub whose #steaknight had been ruined.

As Oscar Wilde says, “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that i-“
Russell Hume is now in administration. Administrators announced 266 redundancies on Monday from the 302 employees at the company, and it is expected that all the company’s employees will eventually lose their jobs. The company is being investigated by the FSA, but says that it the situation is “heartbreaking”, and that the regulators action had created impossible trading conditions for them.


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