The last decade or two has not been kind to the Colonel: Kentucky Fried Chicken has gone from a longtime family favorite to one of the lowest rated restaurant chains in the country. How did it happen? KFC has a lot of underlying issues, from the service and food quality to the cleanliness to the branding.
According to QSR, as far as service goes KFC is middle of the pack with 88.6% accuracy order and 203.91 second average wait time. While that doesn’t seem bad, 11 out of 100 customers receiving the wrong order really isn’t something that any restaurant should strive for. After all, fast food is the only business where an accuracy rating of 88.6% is alright. When it comes to the quality of food KFC produces, it really isn’t the same anymore. The food is incredibly greasy and the chicken falls apart. Their food has gone from being “finger-lickin’ good” to being hot finger-lickin’ garbage. And don’t even get me started on the price, why the hell would I pay $22 plus tax for the 8 piece with its slimy chicken and 88% accuracy? That same money could get me at least two whole pizzas from any pizza place. $22 could get me a meal at a fancy restaurant with great service, free bread sticks and mood lighting.
Speaking of swanky restaurants, they have another key thing KFC doesn’t have: cleanliness. 6% of KFC restaurants are dirty or damaged. That is triple the national average, the highest of any relevant fast-food competition, and is also higher than Taco Cabana. That’s right. They are dirtier than Taco Cabana. Let that sink in.
Last but not least is KFC’s new branding strategy of rotating comedians. Long story short, its garbage. The self-deprecating treatment they are giving the Colonel just isn’t working out. Entrepaur Magazine said it best in an article of theirs called KFC Doubles Down on a Dumb Ad Campaign, “The new Colonel is a caricature…Instead of resurrecting the Colonel to lead KFC’s sales back to their former fried glory, the company has instead unleashed a childish pantomime that people old enough to remember Colonel Sanders don’t like and people too young to know him can’t possibly understand.” Long quote, but it really cannot be said any better. 1/5 consumers hate the ad campaign. And the CEO is happy about the negative press. Clearly, we all see the problem, even if Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed does not.