In what might arguably be one of the most ironic situations faced by a restaurant, KFC ran out of chicken and had to close more than half of its 900 restaurants in the UK. Yes, you read that right – Kentucky Fried Chicken ran out of chicken (which I guess makes it KF instead of KFC).
The supply chain issue that closed the 562 outlets was blamed on switching KFC’s delivery contract from South African-owned distribution group Bidvest Logistics to DHL. DHL blamed “operational issues” for the snafu. Some of the outlets were able to remain open, but with a limited menu.
Indeed, one can understand that it is a complex task to get fresh chicken to 900 restaurants across the country. According to news reports, the GMB union warned KFC that switching suppliers was a mistake. It certainly appears that they were right.
(Update: As of Feb. 28, 97% of KFC stores were open, but according to Reuters the company is now reporting facing another shortage… this time it’s gravy!)
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- In order to be successful, companies must be able to physically get a product into the hands of the customers. Discuss how a distribution channel works.
- Show the video of the KFC issue: https://youtu.be/jM53cQJACCg
- For KFC, what distribution channels are used now?
- How can the channel be expanded? What approach could be used?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a flow chart for the distribution of the product.
Source: BBC (19 February, 2018). Chicken chaos as KFC closes outlets.