750 KFCs in Britain are closed because of a chicken logistics crisis

750 KFCs in Britain are closed because of a chicken logistics crisis

kfc uk closed

Darren Staples/Reuters

A closed sign outside a KFC restaurant in Coalville, England.

  • Around 80% of Britain's KFC locations are shut due to a lack of chicken.
  • New distributors working for KFC have been unable to get sufficient chicken to 750 stores across the UK.
  • KFC has promised that "the Colonel is working on it" - but there is no indication of when the stores will reopen.

Seven hundred and fifty KFC outlets in the UK have been shut after a change in food distributors led to a nationwide chicken shortage for the company.

Around 80% of all KFCs in Britain have been forced to close because the delivery company which recently took over the job of getting chickens to each restaurant has been unable to deliver.

KFC swapped deliverers from Bidvest Group to DHL last week, which caused what the fried chicken empire called "teething problems." It has since set up a web page where people can find their nearest open outlet, and promised that "The Colonel is working on it".

The company wrote on Saturday: "The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants.

"We won't compromise on quality, so no deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed, and others are operating a limited menu, or shortened hours."

According to the GMB, a trade union whose members worked for the Bidvest Group, DHL is "not geared up" to deliver chicken around the country.

DHL currently has one distribution depot, while Bidvest had multiple around the country, GMB National Officer Mick Rix told Business Insider.

Rix added: "Bidvest have a number of depots, which means that drivers don't have to drive hundreds of miles [to deliver to KFC stores across the UK]. The depots are conveniently across the country and can be more efficient to distribute, which keeps costs down.

"What that means is all the orders from across the UK are going to one site, and DHL's systems are not geared up to handling hundreds of orders for the UK."

KFC operates 900 outlets in the UK, meaning more than 80% of its stores have been closed due to the chicken crisis.

It's unclear when the delivery problems would be rectified, KFC told the BBC.

Rix added in a statement on Monday night: "We tried to warn KFC this decision would have consequences - well now the chickens are coming home to roost.

"Three weeks ago KFC knew they had made a terrible mistake, but by then it was too late."

Rix added that 255 GMB members, who are specially trained in food distribution, have lost their jobs as a result of the change in distributor.