The project will highlight various issues faced by the KFC during chicken shortage problem due to improper supply chain

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 In February 2018, KFC had faced various issues due to the shortage of chicken in the United Kingdom. This occurs because of supply chain issue. KFC is one of the famous chicken outlets, and due to the shortage of chicken they served, the food without a chicken is just like embarrassing for both customer and for employee.  A chicken outlet without a chicken is the embarrassing calamity for the employer. Due to this issue, they lose their reputation in the market. Around 560 outlets were closed because of the logistical mess.  The spokesperson of KFC said that the some KFC stores will remain closed and some will function with a shortened hours or reduced menu (Zhu, Anagondahalli & Zhang, 2017). It was also highlighted in various media to reduce the future clash between customers and the company. This issue had a significant impact on their public relations. However, they have developed a positive PR strategy to tackle these issues, which helped to regain trust from the public of United Kingdom. 

Cause of the Chicken Shortage

The issue with the logistics and delivery chain 

KFC restaurants were forced to shut their business in the United Kingdom after the issue arises in new delivery agreement, which led to the shortage in chicken. Around 562 were closed in the first week of February and around 338 were running their business and offers services to their customers only for limited hours. The delivery issue was so much drastic that the organisation is not able to give the reply to their customers whether their operations will operate soon or not (Thomas et al., 2017).  Therefore, for this reason, the company tie-up with the new delivery partner (DHL) and with QSL. However, their new delivery partners were also not able to work correctly for them because of some teething issues. Because of the delivery problem of chicken, the owner of the KFC shut so many KFC outlets in the United Kingdom. Even the owner also apologised for shutting their business in the UK. The chicken delivery issue arose in the KFC when the owner switched their deliveries from Bidvest to new delivery partner (DHL). Due to some operational problems, the DHL did not able to provide chicken deliveries in right time, so for this reason, supply disruption occur in various KFC outlets in United Kingdom. Even the DHL also did apologize for the disruption in their delivery process (Zheng, Liu & Davison, 2018).

In November, DHL proclaimed that the with the help of QSL they will again manage the distribution and supply of food materials or do packaging of food products for all the KFC restaurants in United Kingdom. Moreover, they also announce that they will manage the distribution service and physical warehouse. For resolving the issue in the company, the owner of the company did innovation in their management. So many ridicule and complaints arise from the customers due to the KFC outlets closures in United Kingdom. In London also KFC store were forced to close on February due to the chicken shortage. This particular delivery issue arise when the owner of the KFC switched their delivery contract with new delivery partner (DHL). Therefore, for this reason so many stores of KFC were forced to shut their business in Britain. The owner of the KFC mention in their website that it become difficult for them to get fresh chicken for the 900 KFC outlets in the country because their delivery partner are facing various problems in their delivery process due to some teething issues (Li, 2016).

Management issues and its impact on public relations 

It was also declared in the newspaper that the owner and the whole staff of the KFC restaurants were regretted about their chicken shortage issue. This newspaper was published on Friday in which the owner of the company was apologizing for their restaurant closures. Even on Friday, some of the KFC outlets were reopened again. In the first week of the February 2018, the company face huge downfall in their business and newspaper ads, it has also mentioned that the company were progressing again and in every single day, the owner of the company is delivering huge amount of chicken in their KFC restaurants.  Moreover, Taco Bell who is running the KFC business in United Kingdom proclaimed that this issue arise because of Teething Issues.  Therefore, for resolving this particular issue, they tie up with new delivery business partner (DHL).  Apart from these, DHL said that the deliveries of chicken had been delayed or incomplete due to the operational problems. The German organisation said that not only single party is liable for poor functioning of supply chain in KFC restaurants. Even The owner of the company did not make blame to DHL for chicken shortage issue (Ahmad & Hoodbhoy, 2016). With this strategy, they had kept the good public relations with the suppliers. Moreover, the KFC has the biggest market in the UK (Europe), and 95% of KFC‘s restaurants were operated by Franchisees in the UK. The owner of the company announces that they will provide full salary to their employees and they will do encouragements to their franchisees to take participation in running their business.

Impact of the Chicken shortage issue

Shortage of chicken started on 16 February 2018 so for this reason they started to close their business in UK due to the chicken shortage. By 18 February, out of 870 KFC outlets, only 266 outlets were open in Ireland or the United Kingdom. Moreover, KFC stores in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were not been affected because of some logistical arrangements.

Around two-thirds of KFC outlets were closed on the first week of the February 2018 after the failure of new supply agreement for chicken with DHL (business partner). Because of this breakdown, more than 560 KFC restaurants were closed. It becomes most awful logistic failure for the company. In first week of February, the DHL had been delayed in chicken deliveries. The DHL faced problem in delivering their chicken because of some teething problems. This teething problem had adversely affected the operating system of DHL.  In November, Yum Brands who owned the KFC outlets in United Kingdom renovate their supply chain and end their relationship with the Bidvest (Delivery Company) and started collaboration with their previous business partner QSL (Quick Service Logistics) and DHL who have supplied fried chicken in Europe in 2011. The DHL did apologise to the owner of the KFC for their inconvenience in deliveries in chicken. Around 570 KFC branches were temporarily closed in Britain because of the delivery issue. Even the customers also abuse the company for closing their stores in UK. More than 600 branches of KFC were forced to shut their business in Europe due to the delivery system breakdown faced by DHL. Due to the inadequate supply chain management of DHL the company face chicken shortage issues and because of the inadequate supply chain of fried chicken the company face downfall in their business in United Kingdom (Zindiye & Donga, 2017). Because of the delivery issue, the company all the KFC branches in United Kingdom suffered a lot.  For supply disruption, the DHL (Delivery partner) blamed operational problems, which has created lots of disruption in various KFC stores in United Kingdom. Many customers were gone crazy because of the sudden close of KFC stores in United Kingdom. Delivery issue not only put a negative impact on the company but it also negatively affected their customers (Hardy, 2017). 


Based on this project it could be understood that the after making relationship with the new delivery partner more than 560 KFC branches were closed due to the shortage of chicken. The chicken shortage arises in the company because the DHL had been delayed or incomplete in chicken deliveries. For the KFC outlets, closures in United Kingdom the owner of the company did apologize to their customers.  Even the DHL also did apologize for their inconvenience.  The company also get lots of complaints from their customers for the KFC closures. Still, the company did not blame anyone for the chicken shortage issue arise in many outlets in the United Kingdom. With such a strategy, the KFC had kept a positive relationship with the logistics as they are needed for future growth of business.

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