England is almost a full week into its “chicken drought,” the result of KFC switching food distributors to save money, only to have that backfire tremendously when its new bargain-rate delivery partner, DHL, didn’t, uh, deliver.” Chicken supplies dried up, and as many as 700 of KFC’s 900 U.K. locations were forced to close by the start of this week.
Initially, the marketing folks tried lightening the mood with a joke that amounted to “Why did the chicken cross the road? We have no clue, but it wasn’t to get to a KFC restaurant.” That went over poorly. Rightfully shamed, they’ve tried again today with a full-page apology ad in the Sun and Metro papers that features an empty KFC bucket.
Instead of having the normal KFC logo, the bucket just says “FCK,” in very big letters. Below the bucket, there’s a block of text that reads:
A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed. And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners for working tirelessly to improve the situation. It’s been a hell of a week, but we’re making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us.
And those cheeky Brits love it:
The BBC reports that almost 700 stores have finally reopened, but that the shortage could last several more days at some locations, and KFC isn’t saying how many of the ones back in business are serving a full menu. Stores with more limited options are advertising lettuce, Pepsi, forks, and coleslaw as things they can give you.