The Chain Gang

KFC’s Latest Marketing Gimmick: Making Its Food Taste Good

Re-Colonelized. Photo: Courtesy of KFC

KFC has announced it’s embarking on a distinctly McDonald’s-y turnaround plan to make its food seem edible desirable once again. The company says customers should already see signs of “Re-Colonelization,” a term that suggests an imperialist chicken regime but actually refers to returning to KFC’s chicken-making roots in the ‘50s. It’s emphasizing that it’s now “doing things The Hard Way,” and has instituted a “Colonel Quality Taste Guarantee,” some newfangled policy promising to remake anything that doesn’t satisfy customers.

“This wasn’t a media stunt where our restaurants closed for a few hours,” president Jason Marker explains, managing to work in a clear swipe at Chipotle. The chain brags it’s spent 100,000 hours over the last six months teaching 20,000 employees how to cook chicken “the way the Colonel intended.” Who knows what that entails, because KFC never says (other than stressing it’s a “25-minute process”), but it’s safe to assume employees weren’t doing it, whatever it was.

“To everyone who grew up with the familiar taste of KFC and has turned away from us in recent years, you can come back again,” he continues. Besides making better-tasting food, the plan includes spending hundreds of millions to remodel 3,000 stores, upgrading kitchens, and also paying the comedian Rachel Dratch to show up at yesterday’s press event, since KFC’s endgame is apparently to cycle through every former SNL cast member in a spokesperson capacity.

In an interview with Fortune, Marker actually uses a metaphor that sounds right out of an ESPN Classic documentary, about how they’re a “once great” football team that now must “go back to the process Colonel Sanders originally had in place” to reattain their “former glory.”

[PR Newswire, Fortune]

KFC Says It Wants to Make Its Food Taste Better