THURSDAY, MARCH 1 UPDATE: Welp, looks like we shouldn’t have worried about not writing about KFC this week. Now that the chicken shortage is apparently under control, a new crisis is afoot. Fortune reports that “KFC outlets in the U.K. are reporting a shortage of the fried chicken joint’s famous gravy just weeks after some locations ran out of chicken and were forced to close down.”
Both problems have the same source, namely the new distributor, DHL, which KFC should have cursed its name and torn itself down before ever agreeing to meet with in the first place.
Interestingly, while the KFC social media team had been extremely forthcoming and goodnatured about the chicken crisis, no word from them yet on the gravy situation. They’re probably just tired.
But a spokesperson for KFC owner Yum brands told Reuters, according to Fortune, “We’re working as hard as we can to get this sorted out. We know that our gravy is a big favorite!” the spokesperson said.
True, just ask Twitter:
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23 UPDATE: What are we going to do next week when we’re not writing about the U.K. KFC chicken crisis? Today, the chain announces that chicken has returned to 700 of the 900 franchises in Britain and Ireland. The BBC notes that KFC also put out a full-page ad in the Sun and Metro newspapers with a bit of a “cheeky” apology: An empty KFC chicken bucket, with the letters rearranged to spell “FCK.”
KFC’s U.K. and Ireland Twitter feed, which of course we have been following with bated breath, announces today that it is “knackered.” But still, 90 percent of KFC restaurants are up, even with limited menus. As the new pinned tweet puts it, “Happy Fry-Day”!
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 UPDATE: The KFC crisis has now resulted in what is being called the “most unnecessarily over-dramatic moment in TV history,” as a clearly distraught woman realizes that the KFC chicken shortage will change the path of her entire day:
And another Twitter user thinks that they have spotted KFC workers purchasing chicken at a supermarket to fill this gaping supply need:
Meanwhile, KFC’s U.K. and Ireland Twitter feed reports that 70 percent its restaurants are back up and running, emphasizing that “none of our team members will lose out financially this week.” It says that the chickens are now “winging their way around the country,” proving that the KFC social media staff still has a sense of humor even in this time of calamity.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20 UPDATE: KFC’s U.K. and Ireland Twitter feed announces today that the chickens have reached Ireland.
This unfortunately has done little to soothe other U.K. customers, who hopefully will receive some chicken relief shortly, and are happy to offer some poultry-based puns in the meantime.
Also, British friends, please refrain from calling the police with your fried-chicken emergencies:
ORIGINAL MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19 POST: Bad news if you’re a KFC fan in the U.K. today: You’ll have a hard time finding an outlet that’s open. The BBC reports that “KFC has closed 750 of its 900 UK outlets after delivery problems meant they ran out of chicken.”
How could KFC run out of chicken, the item it was named for way back in the day? Turns out last week, the chain switched suppliers, from the South African-owned distribution group Bidvest to a new outlet. A new outlet that gravely underestimated KFC’s considerable chicken demand (again, right there in the [old] name). The only group of people who might be happy about this development is KFC employees, as “team members on short-term contracts would be paid the average hours worked per day over the past 12 weeks, while employees on salaries would be paid as normal.”
To appease its disgruntled customers, KFC is offering frequent updates on its website, as well as a list of still-open outlets (at www.kfc.co.uk/crossed-the-road), saying that the Colonel is “working on it.” Nobody can say that KFC isn’t at least having fun with some clichés associated with its main product:
As of a few hours ago, KFC announced that some emergency chickens are on their way.
Which is good news for all of those people who saw this chicken shortage as the first sign of the apocalypse: